Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Fucked Up - The Chemistry Of Common Life

I've seen a lot of Fucked Up shows in recent years. It's harder not to really, what with their playing twelve hour shows or maybe just the usual six or seven shows in two days they churn out whenever they are in town. The shows are great, ranging from mild free for alls at the Knit to basement and loft shows in Brooklyn where Cro-Mags covers would cause the decimation of anything the crowd could get its hands, legs or teeth on. After you see a show like that, it's kind of hard to listen to the record. 

I'm not sure how Gerard does it, but he's nabbed Fucked Up for Team Matador. They've dropped the Year Of The Pig EP for the gents and now have seen fit to release The Chemistry Of Common Man.  Nice move. I'd say it's the best recorded Fucked Up yet. The band has celebrated their union with Matador by expanding to include three obliquely named guitarists. They make quite a racket in the Black Flag end of things, but when they explode the sound stratosphere that is Crooked Head, it's pure Who bliss. 

It's kind of hard to articulate how freaky and wonderful this record is. It's no surprise that its title alludes to a mushroom tome. Hearing Pink Eyes shout over weird synths or paired with members of Vivian Girls is disquieting at first, but trust me, you'll take to it in short order. For every screaming rant, there is a companion plaintively ominous soundscape like Looking For God. It seems like this record may cross over for Fucked Up. We can only hope that it's too smart for the rabble, but I think we'll have to embrace the inevitable. That said, I'm totally intrigued to see how the new jacks take to the foul smelling, beer soaked maelstrom that is the average Fucked Up crowd. That should be an eye opener for the Hot Topic set. If you do make a foray, there's been a disturbing trend of balcony jumping at recent shows that should definitely prompt more awareness than the average show.

Much of the Fucked Up canon is so esoterically released that it's almost impossible to come by unless you live next door to a band member, so go for the easy gratification of snapping up The Chemistry Of Common Life here. If you're feeling ambitious, check out their relentlessly disingenuous blog here


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