Attempting to redefine the musical landscape is by no means an easy stunt. What Fucked Up have been doing throughout their career, though, is an earnest attempt at individualism. Whether it’s a rock opera about Thatcher’s England, a 12-hour concert marathon, or songs lasting close to 30 minutes: Experimentalism is a constant with them.
Fucked Up formed in 2001 to join Toronto’s prodigious hardcore scene. Their extensive history of 7” and 12” records sprouted during their first years, when they went on to produce more than 10 of them. In 2006, after having toured for the majority of the preceding year, the band’s first LP Hidden World was released via Jade Tree Records – label of Alkaline Trio and Cap’n Jazz, among others.
The psychedelia tinged record, clocking in at more than 70 minutes, was nominated for Best Punk Album Of The Year at the PLUG Awards, and voted first on a similar list in Canadian magazine Exclaim!.
The sophomore record stayed true to the hardcore roots, but ditched the experimental rock in favour of an indie sound. Contemplating the means of existence, Fucked Up collaborate with several well-known musicians of the Canadian music scene, including Dallas Green and Sebastien Grainger. The chaotic-yet-melodic guitar driven album won the short-lived 2009 Polaris Music Price.
The universally acclaimed rock opera David Comes To Life is arguably the band’s biggest odyssey. In four acts, the 18 songs unveil the story of the eponymous David, his meeting with Veronica, the swirling relationship and guilty consciences they share. PopMatters accurately described not only the ambitiously crafted rock compilation, but Fucked Up in their entirety when they wrote:
“Limitations are only for those who want them to exist”
The 2014 follow-up Glass Boys peaked in the US and UK charts just like David, and the fifth record Dose Your Dreams, a throwback to their most succesful opera, was released just this Autumn; Offering an opportunity to witness their extravagant stage shows live. How many set pieces got destroyed during their gigs, how much damage compensation had to be come up with, can only be guessed. One thing is for certain: Any live performance formula will be overthrown and no mosher will be save.