REVIEW: Fucked Up – “David Comes To Life”

Fucked Up / David Comes To Life / Matador

Listening to the new Fucked Up record makes you wonder why you don’t listen to more hardcore. Are all the bands in this genre so lyrically ambitious? Or so focused on the overall structure of an album and how each song fits into place? Of course, the answer is no – not all hardcore bands have won the Polaris Prize, after all – but the exuberant interplay of Damian Abraham’s furious vocals, Jonah Falco’s excitable cymbal crashes and some genre-bending guitar work plead the best case heard in a long time towards making unrepentant indie rockers take another look at what hardcore music can sound like. Stripped of its clean female backup vocals and the razor sharp beach rock guitar that permeates all of David Comes to Life, “The Other Shoe” is just another punk tune with a catchy rhythmic lick and chant-able hook. But with those parts masterfully blended in with the song it becomes a surreal creature, a microcosm of Fucked Up’s immense four-act, 18 song track list that is David.

All that and we’ve barely scratched the surface of what is a carefully crafted concept album about two star-crossed lovers – there aren’t many groups with the ambition to make an attempt like this on their third studio LP. For the gist of the concept, one only need listen to “Queen of Hearts” (“Hello, my name is David, your name is Veronica / Let’s be together, let’s fall in love”). As the story unravels, the protagonist is fleshed out as a sensitive working class hero and, while Abraham’s voice may not make that dynamic of a shift over the course of the album, the mood of the instrumentation is more than enough to let listeners feel the initial exuberance (“Turn the Season”), the mounting tension and chaos (“Ship of Fools”, “I Was There”), and the bittersweet fade out (“Lights Go Up”).

Download: “Queen Of Hearts”, “Turn The Season”

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  • Adler Bloom says:

    While I liked about 5 songs on the album, for me, it didn’t work as a whole conceptual piece. As you say, there is some unexpected poetry of sorts. The lyrics actually make this whole thing palatable, not only can you make a game of it, (oh THAT’S what he said), some of the lyrics add the emotional punch that is unfortunately not present in the music itself. While the songs are layered with waves of guitar wails, the musical territory is all too familiar. Every rock cliche and stale progression is dredged up. “Turn the Season” has the bombastic sound of a punk Bruce Springsteen song. “Running on Nothing” at it’s core could be a Guns and Roses song with some doses of the Cult. There are flashes of the Sex Pistols and I think even Def Leppard. But maybe I am being a bit over critical as most of the songs, after all, are mere frameworks for Damian’s poetic diatribe and for that purpose the music works ok and while a lot of the lyrics are also full of cliches, they feel to me, for the most part, heartfelt and passionate. One thing that does get old is the constant “rhyming word” delivered at the end of every lyric line. All you budding or non budding lyricists out there, IT ALL doesn’t have to rhyme.

  • Vanessa says:

    The singles are really, really good. Excited to pick this up at their CD release party Tuesday!!!!

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