I’d apologise for the self-indulgent title of this post if I wasn’t so damn discombobulated about the news that Fucked Up have not only gone on hiatus but may well not ever come back in the same form.
Chief barker Damien Abraham has told Spinner that “I can’t tour any more” and that the time off will allow the band to decide on how to proceed. A Fucked Up with no Damian is certainly one of the options on the table.
Can I just say one thing?
I can totally understand if the big hairy motherfucker doesn’t want to tour – he has a wife and young kid after all – but I hope Fucked Up continue with recording together as a studio project.
It’s really difficult though as it’s the live shows that pay the bills. I hope the band can work out some kind of compromise.
It’s particularly galling for a fanboy like me as it really feels like Fucked Up were finally on the cusp of the big time with the critical praise heaped on their latest album David Comes to Life.
I haven’t posted on that record despite pre-ordering it and hammering it since then. It’s such a complex album that I haven’t felt ready to give it justice.
I still don’t. I won’t lie, despite loving the album, I still feel a little bit disappointed overall with it. A touch too long, lacking the psychedelic interludes of earlier records and perhaps a little repetitive.
And yet, the best songs are mind-bogglingly good while the story behind the rock opera is pleasingly ambiguous.
Despite its flaws, I’m sure David Comes to Life will be a top 10 of the year for me.
Both of those are sprawling masterpieces that really stretch the concept of what hardcore can be. Layers upon layers of dense guitar punctuated by the lacerating screams of Abraham.
And that’s the thing. Musically Fucked Up have become less and less abrasive over time (on record at least, live they remain straight-up hardcore) but Abraham’s feral bark keeps things edgy.
It’s because of his vocals that FU will never hit the big time. They are just too intimidating for your typical music fan.
Yet, without those screams Fucked Up would lack the same power, the same punch to the gut. It’s a paradox: the same thing that makes them great holds them back from greatness.
Let’s hope this is not the end for the world’s best hardcore band.