Friday, August 19, 2011

Fucked Up: David Comes to Life (2011)


I try not to waste too much time staring at empty white space hoping that blog posts will write themselves, but I am really at a loss this time. I'm convinced this is an intelligent and well-crafted record, but I'm incapable of liking it. I'm not a fan of hardcore at all, but I felt a concept album about a guy working in a light bulb factory might have enough pop appeal to let me in. Truthfully, I like the anthemic drift of some of the songs, giving some hope that I'd see past my initial prejudices as with Titus Andronicus, but as soon as Damian Abraham opens his mouth with that low-pitched guttural rush of growling testosterone, well, you've never seen anything like it. I shut off completely -- emotionally, critically, whatever. As with most really aggressive music, I can't see the good in it that I'm sure is probably there.

This disappoints me for a couple of reasons, chiefly that I know the members of Fucked Up are rather lovely individuals and I want to be supportive of 'em; I love reading Abraham's blog entries and I'm sure he's one of the smartest people in the business. Moreover, a nearly universal brigade of personal friends and choice critics whose tastes I trust are enamored of this album and while that doesn't tend to bother me too much, I'm naturally disappointed I can't share in their enthusiasm, not when it's a struggle to make it past the first verse of any of the songs. But a lot of them didn't like Cults, so we're even.

I have no criticisms of the album itself outside of my distaste for its genre and basic aesthetic, and those aren't really criticisms, except: I think it's way too long, in a year when even Yeezy and Jay compressed themselves down to single-LP size, and even for basic filthy rock & roll songs I don't really like the idea of a concept album. Not saying they're always bad, just the whole idea makes me cringe kind of a lot.

This is the worst review I've ever posted here and I'm sorry, but I would advise you not to listen to me on matters of Fucked Up or any other hardcore band. If "hardcore" isn't even the right word to describe Fucked Up, argh, rest assured I feel even dumber.

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