Review Summary: David who?
I own a good chunk of Fucked Up’s discography. I think I have a dozen or so of their records, mostly their older stuff. I was always more of a “No Pasaran” kind of guy. I didn’t particularly care for David Comes To Life
, mostly because I thought it sounded too rote and “safe” for Fucked Up, especially coming on the heels of their excellent, three chord prog-punk freak out Year Of The Ox
, the fourth installment in the band’s long-running Zodiac series of EPs. Now it’s been four years since Ox
and three years since David
, and Fucked Up have already announced their full-length follow up for the latter, Glass Boys
. That record, however, is prefaced by the latest installment in the Zodiac series, Year Of The Dragon
, which is all-in-all a home run sure to please fans of all phases of Fucked Up’s evolution.
Listening to YOTD
is listening to a Fucked Up brimming with new ambition and an almost creepy level of ultra-magnetic charisma. The 18-minute long title track is, simply put, the group’s most anthemic, brash, and downright nut-busting rocker since “Crusades.” I don’t typically want to pick up my guitar and play along to most new albums I hear, but the guitar work on “Year Of The Dragon” is so marvelous, I instantly picked up my Destroyer and started jamming. The song is replete with typical punk power/barre chord nod-a-longs, dastardly, meandering bridges, and soaring, blues rock-influenced, thoroughly engrossing solos, all anchored by rich, thick, and powerful tone. This is the kind of song you can play for your Sabbath-loving father, but still be able to bedroom mosh to when he leaves passes out after his day at the mill. It’s basically Fucked Up doing some great fan service, proving that they are aging gracefully, like a fine wine, or perhaps, more appropriately, a bottle of Crown Royal. As the song reaches its climax, Pink Eyes yells “We live with broken morals/We rest on fractured laurels/We don’t believe in anything/To hell with the pain it brings…Hold on for one more day,” in what is sure to be a finest chant-worthy moments in hardcore of 2014. He sounds way more like himself on this record than he did on David Comes To Life
, or even on Year Of The Tiger
’s marginally confused older brother.
“I Wanna Be A Yank” is a tongue in cheek, 2-and-a-half minute burst of comical lamentation of Fucked Up’s Canadian heritage. It’s short and to the point, much like “Disorder,” the third track from this EP. While I do wholly believe that “Year Of The Dragon” is the best song here, these two short covers reaffirm the belief that Fucked Up can produce groovy, fun hardcore tunes in the vein of their early work.
Last time I reviewed Fucked Up I drew comparisons between them and The Mars Volta which, at the time, made sense to me, but now I realize that might have been a little more than slightly retarded
of me, so I would like to apologize to Fucked Up for that. Sorry, Fucked Up. If it makes you feel any better, I bought this, and I’m gonna preorder Glass Boys
, because this material is exceptional, and everyone should be excited now.