Firstly, I would like to throw out a small pet peeve of mine out here. If you are an artist/band that is about to release an album, PLEASE do not say that you have about 20 or so tracks that are on the “cutting room floor.” And this is especially true when that album you are putting out is only 40 minutes long. If I’m going to be spending money on your record, please put as much as you can on the album. After all, your listeners might enjoy the creative risks of putting some of the tracks on said album. And we, at the end of the day, are your most important critics.
That being said, I would like to applaud Fucked Up (yes, that’s their name). FU has always stretched the limits of their music; from their critically acclaimed back catalog, to their epic 12 hour show in New York in 2008, FU is pretty fearless. Now, the Canadian punk band is promoting their new album David Comes to Life, a “rock opera” that takes almost 80 minutes to listen to. And it’s one epic album.
From start to finish, FU’s musicality soars. Guitarists Mike Haliechuk, Josh Zucker, and Ben Cook create an almost orchestral guitar masterpiece with every song. Always upbeat and, although not difficult, is a great punk soundtrack to this opera. Their drumming, although mundane and also repetitive, accompanies the guitars and vocals (which I’ll cover below) so perfectly that you will end up forgiving the repetitive nature of most of the beats.
And then there’s Damian Abraham aka Pink Eyes’ vocal work. Now normally, I’m not the biggest fan of screaming, but Pink Eyes excessive growling fits with every song. Notable songs like “Queen of Hearts” and “Running on Nothing” have him howling for the moon in songs of rebellion. The accompanying vocals, like in “Queen of Hearts” (which features Cults singer Madiline Follin) and “The Other Shoe” helps bring diversity to the vocal range, so you as a listener are never bored nor deterred from the album.
However, the one thing that I have to nit-pick about is the song style. Each one feels remotely similar to the other (with an exception for the last song “Lights Go Up”, where Pink Eyes calms down for a bit.) and it’s easy to feel like you’re listening to the same song again and again. I had to keep going back and forth from the back of the album to the radio know exactly what I’m listening to. Other than this small gripe, there really is nothing wrong with the album.
I don’t know what to call to call Fucked Up; their sound starts as modern American punk, but Pink Eye’s vocals reminds me of something found on an old British punk album. They stretched their sound to accompany both a classic and progressive rock style and feel. And finally, the songs will make the most hardcore person mosh, and the laziest concert goer to at least jump. I guess that’s why they are called Fucked Up, you don’t know where to put them. And I mean that in a great way.
Final Grade: A-
Go Download: “Queen of Hearts”