David Comes to Life
Jun 15, 2011 Web Exclusive
At this stage in the colorful career of Fucked Up, the truly logical thing to do was to release a double-length concept album. After a string of early collector-bait hardcore punk singles, 2006's Hidden World presented the Canadian band as a steamrolling, arena-rock-meets-punk colossus. Two years later, The Chemistry of Common Life threw new art and subtlety into the mix. Surely, something eyebrow-raising was to follow.
David Comes to Life sees its main character lose his lover during wartime, and the album follows David's internal struggles through a series of vividly wrought dialogues and depictions. However, anyone who has heard a Fucked Up record is familiar with singer Damian Abraham's (aka Pink Eyes) hardcore-or-die, full-on vocal approach, so there are plenty of moments where David could be up to anything unless you have a lyric sheet handy.
If the "story" isn't always easy to follow, that's hardly a detriment; this may be called a concept album, but the big musical picture is what matters here. With guitar-based bands all too often falling neatly into metal, punk, or mainstream slots, Fucked Up have offered up a start-to-finish rock record with equal parts sweat and imagination. There may be fewer extended experiments along the lines of those that colored Common Life, but the album's three-guitar assault finds seemingly endless ways to soar, crunch, strafe, and mesh, and the bass and drums roll like a tank chasing lemmings to their cliff.
David could be looked at as a return to the straight-ahead drive of Hidden World, and in some ways it is. But the bottom line is simpler: From the blistering "The Recursive Girl" to the complex interplay of "I Was There," David Comes to Life is Fucked Up playing to their strengths. Even if you can't quite make out all the words to David's story, it still plays like a thriller. (www.lookingforgold.blogspot.com)
Author rating: 7/10
Average reader rating: 9/10