Much like Psychedelic Horseshit, Bitch Magnet or Anal Cunt, Fucked Up is one of those bands I can’t really discuss with my mother. Next time we chat, and she asks if I’ve written about anything interesting lately, I can’t tell her I reviewed the new Fucked Up record. Nothing against her, she’s a very sweet and good-natured woman, but she can’t wrap her head around this kind of stuff. She didn’t even listen to the Cat Power album I bought her, so even if Fucked Up had a less expletive-inclined name, they wouldn’t stand a chance. Which is a shame, because my mother raised me to be an ambitious guy, and Fucked Up is hardcore’s most ambitious band to date.
When Toronto’s biggest and best hardcore band decided to call itselfFucked Up, it was to alienate prospective listeners who probably weren’t going to like its thorny, dense, politically radical music anyway. But neither Fucked Up nor pop culture is what it was when the band started in the early ’00s. Not only did 2008’s The Chemistry Of Common Life make Fucked Up a bona fide critical darling, but the F-word now seems as dangerous as a basket of cuddly Marilyn Manson discs after Cee-Lo Green put it in the title of pop’s most beloved song of the new decade. We now live in a world where a group called Fucked Up really could become a big-time rock band; with David Comes To Life, a breathtaking 18-song, 78-minute magnum opus that’s been germinating for much of the group’s career, it appears even Fucked Up now believes this, and is poised to make it happen.