With every released track, concept album, and installment of their "Zodiac" EP series, hardcore heroes Fucked Up seemingly outdo themselves. New triumphant full-length Glass Boys finds the band pushing itself and the genre to the outermost limit. Admittedly, the architects warred against each other during its creation; vocalist Damian Abraham wanted to create a proper follow up to their award-winning rock opera David Comes to Life with an enormous double record, and guitarist Mike Haliechuk wanted to create a more personal effort. Thankfully, the latter combatant got his way. The result is stripped of excess fat, and as dense as they knew how to make it, both sonically and lyrically. Bold-as-fuck vocals, a three-guitar onslaught, and multi-tracked drums create the effect of a focused army, while the soul-searching meditations on mortality and their role in the punk movement next to their younger counterparts reveal an introspective side, not since revealed. How often is fragility displayed through such intense hostility? Perhaps not the game-changer that Refused’s The Shape of Punk to Come was, but every bit as vital and ultimately rewarding.
Do yourself a favour and also check out the viscous "Slow Version" of the record, with all the drums recorded in half-time.
Fucked Up plays the Arts & Crafts Field Trip Festival in Toronto on June 8, Heavy Montreal on August 9, and will play across British Columbia mid-July. Details on the label’s website.