Fucked Up – [Album]

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Occasionally, there are bands or records that cross my path which I admire or enjoy simply because they are overwhelming. These records are usually outside of my comfort zone, are generally aggressive and sometimes odd – but always leave me exhausted and unable to articulate my attraction to them. Because I can't exactly qualify why I like it, Fucked Up's new release, David Comes To Life, will have to be added to my list of attractively overwhelming albums. A truly a relentless album, it delivers track after track of beautifully ferocious material for just under eighty minutes. As if that wasn't impressive and overwhelming enough, the record is also a rock opera; supposedly telling the love story of David and Veronica, her death and his mourning, self loathing and discovery of the complexities of loss and love. It will likely never "come to life" as a musical on or off broadway, but it won't be viewed as a failure by anyone, because it is clearly Fucked Up's best and most mature work to date.

As with most rock operas (The Who’s Quadrophenia, Hüsker Dü’s Zen Arcade or even Green Day’s American Idiot), the story of David Comes To Life is painted with some pretty broad strokes. For those looking to spend some time with this album, I'm sure there is lots to explore in terms of the story (you'll need to sit down with the lyric sheet) but its immediate appeal is in its delivery of ass-kicking songs; particular standouts include "A Little Bit of Death,” "Queen of Hearts,” "Remember My Name" and "Ship of Fools.”

Now, I know Fucked Up are supposed to be considered a punk band, but none of these standout tracks fit easily into that generic paradigm and instead seem to verge on being "poppy” – even if it feels like a slight to describe it as such. Here, Fucked Up seem focused on delivering a set of songs that boast anthemic qualities mixed with blistering guitars and Damian "Pink Eyes" Abrahams' signature growl. While "poppy" might be a stretch, it is certainly their most accessible batch of songs and, since everything with this band seems to be very deliberate, I'd argue that this new accessibility is very calculated and is in fact what makes David Comes To Life a really special record; it is insanely dense in both sound and narrative, but also poppy and accessible.

It is truly impressive that Fucked Up has managed to be overwhelming and accessible at the same time, and this is exactly how I would describe David Comes To Life.



David Comes To Life is out now. Buy it here on Amazon .

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