Fucked Up - David Comes to Life
Release Date: June 7, 2011
Record Label: Matador Records
Hearing Cults' Madeline Follin's voice come in against the blend of guitars on the second track of Fucked Up's third album (read: punk opus) is beautiful. Against the grain of the band's past grit, they don't step out of their powerful shell on David Comes to Life, but they merely evolve themselves and bloom into territory many of us were questioning when we first heard the band's upcoming album would revolve more around a conceptual punk playbill made up of four acts. Once you get through "The Other Shoe," the first four songs on the album cast all doubts aside and welcome one of summer's best records this year.
What sets Fucked Up's new album aside from their previous records though is the accessibility and bright tone throughout. Damian Abraham's voice still sounds snotty and shredded, but against Mike Haliechuk, Ben Cook and Josh Zucker's guitar work, it sounds heavenly and right for the surf. From the layering of the introductory "Let Her Rest," you should get a good idea that the next hour and eighteen minutes will be something special.
"Running on Nothing" bursts and blooms into "Remember My Name," which crescendos into racing guitars and vocally angelic exposition. While "Slanted Tone" starts with clean acoustics, the song quickly picks up into another racing number and vocal surge from Abraham. What will be noticeable to long time Fucked Up fans, and especially those following the Year of… EP series, is definitely how the band never settle on conventional aggressive punk and continue to write evolving mid-tempo tracks like "Truth I Know," "The Other Shoe" and "One More Night."
As "Lights Go Up," bookends an undertaking of a well crafted album, the length of David Comes to Life does begin to set in. While there's a lot to come back to, getting through it all in one sitting (as it's intended) is a few and far between situation. Like London Calling's double album journey, lengthy punk records done right garner recognition and repeat visits to favorite tracks. As "I Was There" blends the best of straight hardcore punch and psychedelic timbre, I have no doubts that David Comes to Life has the potential to go down as a classic. Honestly, it's the best and most forward thinking "punk" album released this year. In fact, I'll go as far as saying this: The word "pop-punk" is quite synonymous with this site, so don't let this album be an overlooked, genuine hybrid of pop glisten and punk snarl.
I do agree that this album is a lot more bright than previous Fucked Up records, and I love that about it. There is such a cheery vibe to it. "Queen of Hearts" is the punk love song to end all love songs, and it has an abrasive Pixies-esque vibe to it, aware of itself yet fully embracing the cheese it conjures up.
The record is lengthy, but the journey to the end is well worth it. The album is eclectic and gorgeous, heavy and poppy.
Infiltrate their back catalog now and then get this as well. It's a beautiful album, and this is the best hardcore/punk band in the game.
agreed. such a catalog. I think they just keep getting better. there was part of me that was like "wow, this album makes me feel like if the production on the last record was just a tad bit better," but then I realized that the grittiness of Chemistry is what makes that record.
So glad this got reviewed, and well done on it. I couldn't agree more, a fantastic record. It doesn't even seem taxing to me, I listened to it twice straight yesterday (about 160 minutes of my day) and didn't become bored. And I've yet to try and read the lyrics, follow the story, work out which character is speaking when, etc. So much to like here.
Fantastic album, I was worried about the length but listening all the way through is quite an amazing experience. I've always enjoyed Fucked Up but this album is a masterpiece. AOTY along with No Devolucion.