Fucked Up

Couple Tracks: Singles 2002-2009

Written by: PP on 07/02/2010 17:04:26

Fucked Up passed underneath my radar all the way until their brilliant performance at Roskilde Festival last year. The universal critical acclaim this band was receiving up to this point had been astonishing, indeed both indie magazine, punk magazines, metal magazines, and even mainstream press seemed to simultaneously have fallen in love with the urgency emitted by the band's breakthrough album "The Chemistry Of Common Life". They blew me away at Roskilde, so I figured the next chance I get, I'll get my hands on a copy of anything these guys are releasing in the future. Turns out the chance came sooner than expected, as the band have just put out a 25 track full length called "Couple Tracks: Singles 2002-2009", a collection of all the limited 7"s, b-sides, and a few unreleased tracks that the band has recorded in the past. Don't worry, "Crooked Head" and "Teenage Problems" are here too, because the band has put out a retarded amount of demos and 7"s in the past.

Basically what Fucked Up do is they write a fucking awesome riff, and then find ways to repeat that riff for the entirety of the song without making it sound dull or repetitive at all. Occasionally they charge ahead bullishly on hardcore punk tracks, and elsewhere they're perfectly happy to go about on a mid-paced delivery with plenty of bright melody to be found within the riffs. The highlight of the record, of course, is the band's iconic vocalist David Abraham, whose coarse but easily-accessible vocal style is both engaging and the reason for the band's cross-genre appeal. He sounds harsh enough for the punkers, but the songs are attitude-packed enough to appeal for the rock'n'rollers (in fact Fucked Up are the most rock'n'roll band I've heard since that term was created), and catchy enough to even get the attention of the music fan not normally associated with this kind of music in his faintest dreams. With songs like "Dangerous Fumes" containing infectious bass-lines, "Crooked Head" obviously bringing the super-catchy chorus into play, and "Mustaa Lunta" and "Teenage Problems" showcasing the band's skill at writing melodic guitar lines, there's something for everyone here.

The best part about Fucked Up is how you can't really compare them to anyone. Sure, you can hear some Minor Threat and Black Flag influence in the band's sound, but not enough to warrant a proper comparison to those guys. It's funny to realize how original the band sounds even though almost all of their songs consist of just three or four chords, tantamount to the immense talent these guys possess. With 25 tracks on offer, effectively detailing the band's career from start to finish with nearly all of their best songs, "Couple Tracks" is a great starting point if you're not into Fucked Up yet. You know you're onto something special when BBC Music are in agreement about the rating with an underground punk magazine like scenepointblank.

Download: Crooked Head, Mustaa Lunta, Teenage Problems, Dangerous Fumes
For the fans of: Minor Threat, Black Flag, Negative Approach
Listen: Myspace

Release date 26.01.2010
Matador Records

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