Imagine lying half-stoned in a field of buttercups on a summer afternoon staring at the clouds while being stomped on by a fat, tattooed skinhead.
That’s the dichotomy of the Fucked Up sound.
Brutality and psychedelic beauty.
Their sophomore album (yet release number 6o-something due to an insane number of 7 inch singles and random releases) Chemistry of Common Life was one of THE records of 2008 and I’m still caning it on a regular basis.
My Bloody Valentine crossed with hardcore? It’s a good a starting point as any but there’s a lot more to Fucked Up than that.
Beauty and ugliness crashing up against each other. Lipstick and smashed teeth. Sheets of shivering, dense guitar full of undulating melody shot through with vocalist Damian Abrahams’ terrifying bark.
Shoegaze? Hah! Boot to the face in a joyous, pill-frazzled circle pit more like. Instead of tough guy punks, think frothing lunatics with flowers in their hair and pretty girls punching you in the face while blowing kisses.
So I am understandably a little moist at the prospect of the new Fucked Up album David Comes to Life (oddly having the same name as a song from 2006 full-length debut Hidden World) about to drop on Matador on June 6.
Never short on ambition – remember the piccolo intro to Son, The Father, the scores of guitar overdubs that characterise their album sound or 18 minute hardcore song Year of the Pig – Fucked Up have now promised us a (punk) rock opera.
In a bid to beat the downloaders the Canadian group have written extra tracks for 7 inch singles as part of a pre-order package that supposedly round out the story in the vein of movie DVD extras.
Four of these songs have been released for free download. Go grab them.
Concept albums aren’t exactly my cup of tea/beaker of merlot/can of Skol. Yet any fears of Fucked Up, well, fucking up are immediately dispelled.
Soaring guitar squalls that make you glad to be alive? Check. Pounding drums? Check. Wounded bull roar? Oh yeah.
But what’s new?
- Well, an even greater developed understanding of classic pop dynamics even though commercial radio would never touch this.
- How about nods to the paisley underground and with the brilliant female backing vocals and some of the melodies?
- Better yet an even more powerful vortex of sound to suck you in and spit you out bruised yet contented, as if after a particularly animalistic fuck with someone you love.
On this evidence, Fucked Up are at the height of their powers and David Comes to Life a masterpiece in the making. They had better not let me down now.
Here’s some YouTube love (don’t be put off by the Pitchfork watermark, Fucked Up are NOT, I repeat NOT hipster twats despite a few visual red herrings suggesting the contrary):
Son, The Father
and one of the new tracks, Queen of Hearts