Artist of the Week: Fucked Up
For this week’s featured artist, Vapor Music would like to congratulate Fucked Up for being awarded the 2009 Polaris Music Prize, which “celebrates and rewards creativity and diversity in Canadian recorded music.” Up against an immensely talented and diverse short-list of artists, the band’s album The Chemistry of Common Life was revered for its artistic merit among the year’s Canadian releases. The Alternative Press may summarize it best when it states that: “Fucked Up aren’t the easiest band to like, but they’re worth the effort.”
The band plans to use the $20,000 monetary reward given alongside the Polaris Music Prize to create a charity album benefiting the search for missing aboriginal women in Canada, reiterating their passion for politics and world issues.
Political hardcore punk, charged with symbolism and a desire to raise a little hell.
Similar to: Minor Threat, Jawbreaker, Against Me!, Dillinger Four
“So people say Canadian songwriting is ironic and distanced? Fucked Up has as direct a line to pissed-offness as any Brit or U.S. punk. Yet they rewrite the laws of fast-hard-loud with eight-minute songs, melodious backup vocals, even flutes. The Chemistry of Common Life confirms Canadians can wear their brains on their sleeves even without a shirt – the sound of a year when everything depended on getting mad without getting stupid.”
(Carl Wilson, Globe And Mail, Toronto)
“All too often punk music is about getting it right, picking a particular subgenre and acing it the way you might a test. Toronto’s Fucked Up has proven the antithesis of this approach since their inception. Formed in early 2001, this five-piece has managed confrontation without cheap gimmicks or novelty, creativity without pointless noodling and intensity without predictable arrangements. Seamlessly plowing through punk’s varied past, a Fucked Up song can invoke the melodic anthems of British Oi, the brawny directness of early ’80s American hardcore and the artistic autonomy of a band that doesn’t care what its forebears have done before. Gruff, raspy vocals reminiscent of Negative Approach’s John Brannon topple over driving guitars, sometimes favoring melody, sometimes a chaotic, down-stroke frenzy. A trail of hard-to-find seven-inch EPs show a band not only perfectly at ease with the trade of vintage hardcore punk, but one constantly willing to push its music into new, original directions. Fucked Up manipulates everything from its lyrics and artwork to song length and writing to make a distinct, singularly unique point. Threading the best elements of Killed By Death obscurities through the Undertones’ melody, Black Flag’s aggression and Minor Threat’s Marshall-driven guitars, Fucked Up rarely makes for direct comparisons, arriving instead at something wholly intense and new … and isn’t that the point?”