When the band handed this to me, during my fourteen short hours in Toronto, I thought they were joking. “It’s three songs, a concept.” They could have gone further and said, “Well, the first song is a mix between Gene Krupa and Phillip Glass with an itty-bitty hardcore interlude.” They could have said that because it’s true. And coming from a band that’s been glued to my ear ever since I first heard them, I knew I’d be happy to take the risk, put a seat belt on, and prepare for bumpy ride in front of the record player. You see, if you think pure, contemporary hardcore’s all just a cheap xerox and it’s cowering like an abused puppy in the corner when compared to past greats, Fucked Up will sink that battleship of a theory. Then I looked at the vinyl. It looked like two songs. No breaks on either side. Huh. My math’s bad, but I know the difference between two and three. Maybe I heard wrong. One song starts with a three-plus minute drum solo (the Gene Krupa reference), gets accompanied by some guitar plug-in feedback for another minute. Cue echoey whistling for another minute. Fade. Thirty seconds—if that—of yellin’ and hardcore familiarity. Turn down the heat to a simmer. Complete fade into minutes of complete, measured silence. (Here’s where Phillip Glass comes in.) It clocks in at nine minutes, give or take. And the end result isn’t some artsy aural blowjob that juxtaposes a jazz drummer and a musical theorist, but the feeling of a blue collar hardcore renaissance. Wait a minute. The first side actually has two songs, but they’re not one after another. It depends when you drop the needle on the spinning record, as there’s two different grooves. You sneaky bastards. This song and the song on side two are the anchors and the houses on which Fucked Up was built. Melodies on the tips of circular saw guitars buzz through the vocals, bass lines twine around the whole thing, keeping the song’s meat juicy and firm. Fucked Up sounds like the house band to the Apocalypse. They make me want to get on one of the horses heading towards the Armageddon in the sky and whip it faster. Meet that shit head face to face, goading it. Yeah, it’s pretty badass for just three songs. Highly recommended.