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I don’t know if it has to do with being a teenager in the early-to-late-80s, but I’ve never been very interested in hardcore punk. I dabbled, I tried some mixtapes from friends, but never bought anything really punk. The Clash, X, Billy Idol…that’s as far as I went. I think it had more to do with the vocals, since I liked other types of noisy music—Chicago or Belgian industrial stuff, and some Goth stuff like Bauhaus.
Fucked Up is punk, I think, but they bring some other elements to the party that I find welcome on this disc. There is a frequent female vocal presence, often softening the nasal scream of the lead singer and sometimes taking lead herself. Some of the songs approach a Blink-182 kind of pop songcraft, and I even noticed a nice use of slow building guitars and softer drums on one that reminded me of The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again”, without the synth part. The record does get a little tiresome for me by the end, but in smaller doses I like it quite a bit. There is very likely a narrative or concept her involving a guy named David but it’s too hard to parse the lyrics.