Fucked Up’s punk has risen up from the underground due to the intensity of their dedication to their music (acclaimed as progressive and creative hardcore punk) and the fussy craziness they exhibit on and off the stage. These additional performances, beyond the actual music, are the cause of many discussions and arguments about the value of the music versus the noise caused by the actions of the musicians. Punk is noisy: the music is noisy and the punks themselves are noisy. Punk is fussy: spoiled if you don’t like it, or rebellious and invigorating if you do. Nonetheless, punk is performance art and, like it or not, many identify with its sound and attitude. So, let’s get over it and say, yes, Fucked Up has become well-known because of destroying MTV’s stage and having to pay damages over five thousand dollars, for confessing to disturbing relationships among band members (including violent fights), and even some stories of a member in a mental institution because of the stressed relationships within the band. But above all that, there is the music, without which they would have never got to where they are now: all over the news and in the ears of those who are listening carefully to the evolution of music.
The discography of the band is confused. They have produced a huge number of albums (over forty) for a career of only nine years. They have moved away from tradition even in this matter. They haven’t followed the common path of recording LPs and EPs in an organized way but have extended their chaos even to this part of their work. They have put out a long series of 7″ records (38 of them) as well as many 12″ ones, including a saga for the Chinese Zodiac they began in 2006 with Year of the Dog. Last year they put out the Year of the Pig, the title track of which runs 18 minutes 34 seconds. There’s a Pink Floyd connection in the sounds if you listen attentively which may or may not be intentional. Fucked Up’s four LPs are: Epics in Minutes, Hidden World, The Year of the Pig plus B-Sides and The Chemistry of Common Life.
Fucked Up explores many areas of music with a vision of punk as an epic sound. The band’s line up of three guitars has evolved punk from the classic four members formation, and has invited instruments that were never ‘punk’ to discover their hardcore soul. The first track of The Chemistry of Common Life, “Son the Father” opens with a flute solo that has brought much comment: flute was never punk until it got Fucked Up. The three guitars are so strongly layered you might think there’s no space for anyone else in there, but if you try to listen to a small piece of any one of them, you are violently dragged to the very center of them all and dared to leave. Pink Eyes’ voice has been compared to the yell of a Balrog , but this is not just any Balrog’s call: this is a dark, existentialist Balrog, cracking your skull with epic obscure lyrics about rebellion, survival, mythology, and the heaviness of humanity. These guys could go on holiday with Nietzche and Wagner.
Their 2006 LP Hidden World was almost immediately hailed as a classic punk album. The instrumentals, long tracks, and firing drums; the psychotic string games, the use of violins, the calls to rebellion, the strong and disturbing but melodic noise: all this got Fucked Up acclaimed as a band that was coming to interfere with punk music.
Fucked Up is not only about destroying stages and bathrooms, they are not just spoiled punks yelling for attention, they are not just fucked up dudes with damaged minds. These guys are playing with all the options that music gives punks to be creative. If their music was not as good as it is, and as it is becoming, then all the shit people say about them wouldn’t be about their music, and it wouldn’t be any more interesting than news about Britney F. Spears.
To all of those punk lovers in Shanghai: you better get ready to see what happens when S.T.D. brings Fucked Up to fuck up the most fucked up stage they’ll ever be on. And to those who don’t give a fuck about punk, what the fuck are you doing reading this? (This was fucking funny to write.)
Fucked Up brought by S.T.D. will play at LOgO supported by Crazy Mushroom, with an after party provided by STDJs. Saturday March 21st at 10pm. 40 rmb.
They began to spread their sound in 2001. The punks forming the band are Pink Eyes (Damian Abraham) on vocals, Mustard Gas (Sandy Miranda) on bass, 10,000 Marbles (Mike Haliechuk) on Lead Guitar, Concentration Camp (Josh Zucker) on rhythm guitar, Young Governor (Ben Cook) on third guitar and Guinea Beat (Jonah Falco) on drums.