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May 30, 2014 / bloggenstatt

Post hardcore rock with a budget–that’s Fucked Up

Even after four albums the throat-shredding yowl of the man formerly known as Pink Eyes, Damian Abraham, is the most arresting and instantly distinctive feature on a record by the Toronto hardcore outfit Fucked Up.

This is perfect, Of course a band with a name that major publications must address with a euphemism, a name that cannot be uttered in polite company, would have a shrieking cement mixer  on vocals.

Abraham’s vocals also serve as a tether to the band’s earlier days. The band’s newest effort, Glass Boys, will be released by Matador on June 3, and it is even slicker than 2011’s David Comes to Life. This is not a bad thing, because Glass Boys is a thoroughly enjoyable album. The hardcore-punk outfit that formed in 2001, probably did not envision a scenario in which they would release a followup to a critically adored rock opera with the budget of a major label at their disposal. However, in 2014 that’s exactly where Fucked Up have found themselves. Even as production values have improved and guest lists have expanded Abraham’s unique voice remains unchanged.

Glass Boys builds on David Comes to Life‘s production and interesting melding of classic rock and hardcore.Musically, Fucked Up have never sounded more similar to The Who. The last minute of “Warm Change” even flirts with blooze rock before fading into ambient organ sounds. Still, Fucked Up haven’t mellowed out, and the new songs all qualify as shout-along anthems 

Glass Boys sounds as glossy as any recent radio rock, but it never comes across as overly produced. Guitars sound triumphant, not candy coated, and the musicianship on display is top notch as usual. The band’s rhythm section sounds particularly tight. The drumming has a crisp quality reminiscent of Dave Grohl’s work on In Utero.

While certain elements of Glass Boys are familiar, Fucked Up are clearly a band that doesn’t believe in simply doling out more of the same. The ambition and evolution yield tremendous results, and Glass Boys is a great edition to a remarkable body of work. Fucked Up are one of the most interesting bands making music, and albums such as this one ensure they’ll continue to hold our attention.

 

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