David Comes to Life
The epic David Comes to Life is the most recent, highly ambitious release from Fucked Up. The band is usually classified as a hardcore band, but what they are doing here is definitely more than just one genre can contain. This album is a 78-minute journey in four acts through the life of a young man named David who falls in love with a pinko named Veronica whom he meets outside the factory where he works. That David Comes to Life is framed as a love story should be the first clue that Fucked Up is not what you might think of when hearing the words "hardcore band." That's because, in truth, Fucked Up is really a rock band. Listen to any song on this album or on their two previous studio albums (Hidden World and The Chemistry of Common Life) and hear unmistakable melody--granted, you may have to tune out the raspy, passionately-shouted vocals of lead singer Damian Abraham to do this.
The first track is an instrumental, but when the singing starts, listen. Fucked Up is always saying something important, but for this album you will likely need to read the lyrics while you listen--not only to discern what's being said, but also to follow the labyrinthine narrative. In David Comes to Life, the lyrics tell a story not just of love, as we hear in act one, but of the loss that comes into David's life when Veronica dies. The ensuing loss of faith that occurs and consumes David's life for the next two acts. Eventually a resolution comes, when David grows older and wiser, and the album ends on a positive note--"I am old but I want to do it again." This is something that is consistent about Fucked Up: despite delving into grave waters and asking difficult questions, they emerge optimistic and hopeful.
But let's say that you don't go home and look up the lyrics. Not knowing the lyrics to each song is not such a big deal; as anyone who's done karaoke knows, you're probably singing the wrong words 95% of the time anyway. The universal goodness of this music comes from the basics. The instrumentation is tight; the sound is massive like the opera that it is. There are three guitarists (!!) and they are all busy on this album. In "Life In Paper," there's some insane harmonic guitar action amid a hail of cymbals that is just fun to listen to. David Comes to Life also features singer-songwriter Jennifer Castle and Cults' Madeline Follin, and the airy sweetness of their voices provides a perfect complement to the roughness of Abraham's. This album is dense, loud, energetic, and sonically interesting. What more could you want?
Fucked Up - Couple Tracks
More by this writer:
Thee Oh Sees - Castlemania
Crystal Antlers - Live - July 11, 2011