Monday, June 6, 2011

Fucked Up

David Comes to Life

Matador Records

The structure of these 18 songs are formally pop: verse, chorus verse, and very melodic. But the huge amount of noise in this pop is more like Husker Du’s brand of barrage, especially like the Du’s classic album Zen Arcade than hardcore. The vocals may be bellowed like Bob Mould’s, but there is also an element of un-Mould like screaming.

Another way David Comes to Life resembles Husker Du is lyrically: Zen Arcade was about a young man leaving home to face a hostile world, and on both albums the lyrics are surreal. Another album with rather surreal lyrics, but also experiential power pop, was Game Theory’s Lolita Nation. There the theme was a young man coming of age in an increasingly plastic world. So yes, Fucked Up’s new album is something of a concept album. The concept here is love, death, and starting over. A young man named David has a dead end job in a light bulb factory in a small British town, and he falls in love with a woman who is a rabble rousing communist. The woman dies in an explosion or terrorist attack, and David is devastated. He plots revenge, but also meets another woman who he falls in love with. This puts an end to his plan of revenge, and he also realizes that things are okay now. He can still love, so everything is fine, and life goes on. The narrative is very loose, the band doesn’t even know how the story ends, but it works very well. As does the music, the wonderfully sprawling, life- and love-infused music which never quits being positive, just like the lyrics. David Comes to Life indeed. He leaps out of the songs, and tells his bracing story, grins when he gets to the end, confident he’ll leave listeners smiling, happy, and cheering him on. []

And here is a mini documentary about the band. []

Andrea Weiss

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