FUCKED UP: Epics in Minutes: CD

For every punk rock ghetto that’s trapped some bright minds, there’s always a handful of bands that refuse to slip into the tattered musical uniforms and play like a house band of the defeated. There’s always some folks making a new form of dynamite to annihilate walls that seem, to the majority, impenetrable. Hardcore’s got some pretty strict constraints that are militantly guarded by its own believers, so it’s doubly impressive when a band not only harnesses the unqualified blastmastery of the genre, but they do something new. And I don’t mean post-hardcore bullfuck knitting-rock or adding a goddamn pan flute or anything annoying like that. I mean, over twenty years of bad times have passed since Middle Class recorded “Out of Vogue” and Bad Brains trammeled “Pay to Cum.” The stakes are higher now because the pioneers have rarely been challenged or topped, just constantly (and usually) poorly reproduced. Enter bands along the lines of From Ashes Rise, DS-13, Tragedy, Out Cold, Career Suicide, and Fucked Up. Nope, Jack, it all hasn’t been done, and better, and this CD – a collection of most (not all) of their recorded output to date lays a royal flush out on the table. Unmitigated anger. Pillaging guitars. Drumming that sounds like a thousand hooves rushing through your stereo. Melodies at full speed that mere consumers should be supplied a bite bar with so they don’t choke on their own tongues when it gets cranked up really high. That, and memorable songs that don’t all bleed into one long one. The showpieces are the first twelve songs. Then there’s a radio session and a demo that does a good job of showing you how much better they are now. If you like this CD and have never heard of ‘em before, I suggest backtracking and getting the original vinyl, too.

 –todd (Deranged)