Fucked Up
David Comes to Life


4.0
excellent

Review

by Daniel Smith USER (21 Reviews)
May 21st, 2011 | 275 replies | 34,219 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Beat your fucking steering wheel.

20 of 21 thought this review was well written

I:

The time is two o’ clock in the morning, the setting the basement of a college library, where desperate crammers hopped up on caffeine or study drugs make last- minute exam preparations. I’m there, in the abyss of my second consecutive all-nighter, itching for a smoke break, catching up on hundreds of pages of existential psychology. If ever I am to experience a crisis of meaning, it is at this moment; hallucinating from sleep deprivation, I find the subjects of my reading blending into reality, and I marvel at how very, very fucked up I feel. As for the book-skimming, internet-prowling zombies surrounding me? They’re in their separate worlds, I tell myself, so they don’t matter, despite the fact that they are as fucked as I am. Later, as I finish my pack of American Spirits under the fresh, May-morning sky, I will realize the extent of my overreaction – but at the present, there’s only mortality salience and I.

II:

Enter Damian Abraham, a hardcore punk vocalist (and sometimes Fox News contributor) known also as Pink Eyes. Following Pink Eyes’ lead are 10,000 Marbles, Young Governor, Gulag, Mustard Gas, and Mr. Jo: three guitarists, a bassist, and a drummer, respectively. Apart, they are as ordinary as your humble suburban reviewer; together, they are Fucked Up, a Canadian sextet of musicians and recipients of the 2009 Polaris Music Prize for their sophomore album, The Chemistry of Common Life. It is now three years post-Chemistry, and the pseudonymous six have returned with David Comes to Life, their cerebral punk drama in four acts. The storyline is as follows: a man (David) and a woman (Veronica), both presumably employed at a British light bulb factory, fall deeply in love. Veronica kicks the bucket within minutes, and poor David peers through a hole in the album’s fourth wall to realize he’s a purely fictitious figment of Octavio (the narrator). Other weird stuff happens, too, like the irrelevant appearance of Vivian (witness to Veronica’s death) in Act III, or like David’s inexplicable “rebirth” in Act IV. The astute indie nerd may pause here and think, “wait a second, this is just an angrier plagiarisation of Owen Pallett’s Heartland,” and in a way, the nerd is right. In the battle for the better metalyrical concept album, however, Fucked Up wins. Bear with me.

III:

In which the seemingly disconnected Parts I and II of this review are reconciled. First of all, forget Owen Pallett for the time being; I’m saving him for the finale. More importantly, what makes David Comes to Life’s nearly eighty-minute runtime – not to mention its pretension – forgivable is its pure, relatable force. I don’t think I’m going out on a limb when I say the whole love-story-devolving-into-existential-crisis thing is merely the band’s way of embodying the frustrations of their own characters (David’s voice is funneled through Damian’s, after all). David’s rallying cry of “let’s emote” doesn’t only project make-believe rage, but extraordinarily authentic human rage, my rage, your rage, and so on. Is it overblown? Of course it is, but then again, so was my adderall-fueled tantrum in the school library, but that does not make it any less genuine. As for the music: with more hooks than a Titus Andronicus record, catchier riffs than half of whatever punk rock you listen to, and near classics like “Ship of Fools,” “The Other Shoe,” and “Truth I Know,” David Comes to Life is the windows-down interstate rocker of the summer. Occasional filler, punctuated by the fact that the album is literally seventy-eight minutes of raw energy, makes Fucked Up’s nightmare at the opera a flawed and taxing listen, but listen to it loud, and listen to it proud; this one’s rewards outweigh its minor blemishes.

IV:

“I’ll see you again when our story gets retold,” David snarls at Veronica or, perhaps, the listener, as the curtain falls in “Lights Go Up,” the album’s damn-near-cathartic epilogue; thus, in a flash of possibly unintentional brilliance, Fucked Up address and justify David’s most inherent flaw, that it’s been done before. The funny thing is, originality is less “being new” than taking crayons to the white spots in old coloring books, touching up on dated blueprints. In this regard, Fucked Up harvest the land our pilgrim friend Mr. Pallett charted out last year, and now you can eat of what its gritty soil yields. So beat your fucking steering wheel. Pink Eyes is shouting at you, and should shout back at him, at least until your engine cools.



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user ratings (344)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
danielito19 (2.5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Drsmith4
May 21st 2011



1715 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album can be purchased early on the band's website. Also, language filters are fucking annoying.

http://www.davidcomestolife.com/

Satellite
May 21st 2011



20728 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

interesting review, man. pos'd

i fucking love this album

Digging: Spoon - They Want My Soul

cvlts
May 21st 2011



8954 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

have had this a while now. don't know what to think of it.

Hep Kat
May 21st 2011



15311 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this has like some really good tracks and some really bad ones. at least it all sounds different from one song to the next. i dunno i didn't like it that much but it might grow on me. i really do like one of these songs a lot but i forget/don't care enough to know which one

i kinda wish they went in the direction of their last zodiac release. that shit was far more interesting

Digging: Botany Boyz - Forever Botany

Satellite
May 21st 2011



20728 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

i've been listening to it in my car, so i don't know the names of the songs i like

Drsmith4
May 21st 2011



1715 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm with Satellite. This is pretty much a summer driving album. The song titles are p. bland/forgettable, so the album kinda plays as one continuous riff-fest. So good, though.

PlaygroundFading
May 21st 2011



433 Comments


recommended by reviewer
...
Green Day American Idiot



i hope this is making fun of that recently deleted soundoff + you are not the guy who actually wrote it lol

either way i love this album

sniper
May 21st 2011



19048 Comments


fantastic review. pos'd.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
May 21st 2011



7325 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Will give this a listen, sounds very promising.

Drsmith4
May 21st 2011



1715 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Also, I don't think I emphasized this enough in my review, but this album really should be measured in terms of hpm (hooks per minute). Even if you're not a fan of the shouting/yelling, the guitar work will probs win you over.

Titan50
May 21st 2011



4588 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I had no idea this was out...

psykonaut
May 21st 2011



3913 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

stellar review, ol chap

STOP SHOUTING!
May 21st 2011



631 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

sounds interesting. very well written.

mmfarva
May 21st 2011



1352 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I really enjoyed this review. Different, well-written and interesting. I'm working on mine right now. It will have a similar score, but I stick to a more straight-forward style. I enjoy this more than my as yet unborn review, though.

i kinda wish they went in the direction of their last zodiac release. that shit was far more interesting


I was a tad disappointed by that, but I've learned to accept that that's how they've always worked. It's what makes the Zodiac releases so special.

Even if you're not a fan of the shouting/yelling, the guitar work will probs win you over.


No lie, the guitar work is so stellar.




Spec
May 21st 2011



27107 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Awesome review actually.

Digging: Rinoa - An Age Among Them

Satellite
May 21st 2011



20728 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

yeah i sorta look at the zodiac releases as almost a side project

Kris.
May 21st 2011



12261 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

if i didn't like the chemistry of common life should i still give this a try or what

Satellite
May 21st 2011



20728 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

this is more like hidden world than chemistry imo

listen to it and i'll forgive yr recent gabel-bashing

Kris.
May 21st 2011



12261 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ohkay will do fuck tom gabel

mmfarva
May 21st 2011



1352 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Pretty much on both the zodiac and the Hidden World comments.



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