FUCKED UP: The Chemistry of Common Life: CD

When it comes to Fucked Up, I can’t but help think it’s a case of the “king has no clothes” going on. Their singles were just okay. Nothing classic or really groundbreaking. The Hidden World LP was okay. It’s definitely not as edgy as people made it out to be. Yeah, they were breaking away from being a run-of-the-mill hardcore band by extending their songs and adding different sounds, etc., but still, nothing mind blowing or exactly reshaping music. This new album is the sound of a band who is trying too hard to be “out there.” Everything sounds forced, and done for the sake of doing it, because it’s expected. The experimental side they have been angling for is overdone, which detracts from any power the songs may have. It’s almost as if they’re hoping listeners will sit around, “Did they just add pop vocals to this song (“Black Albion Bones”)?!? That’s like, so whacky!” Layers of keyboards, feedback, and more, and it all goes nowhere. The songs drone on and on; no energy or charisma. “Royal Swan” is beyond ridiculous. The first song, “Son the Father” is decent, but, for the most part, this album is boring. I found myself thinking the songs were lasting forever, and then I would check the disc player and see I was only four minutes into a song. This is prog rock lite. Convoluted is a good superlative to describe this.

 –M.Avrg (Matador)