- Audio CD (13 Oct. 2008)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Matador
- ASIN: B001D7T3WU
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,345 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
The Chemistry Of Common Life
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The Chemistry Of Common Life
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Hardcore punk has always been known for drama, intensity and notes that can't really be discerned, helmed by someone shouting into a microphone. F***** Up are a new breed of hardcore band. They encapsulate all of the energy that makes hardcore exciting, yet show a level of craft that dwarfs the old school punks. Their second full length, The Chemistry of Common Life, keeps up the intensity of the hardcore tradition while revealing surprisingly nuanced rock songs. Shouted, guttural vocals that sound like they're coming from somewhere in the pit of lead singer Pink Eye's stomach tend to come to the forefront, but details betray a certain polish and technical know-how.
The delicate flute intro of album opener Son The Father bleeds into feedback giving no indication of what is to come; indeed, upon the impact of the layered guitars, the listener feels a little blindsided by the unexpected rush. Similar tricks are slipped in throughout the album, such as the hand drums on Magic Word and big orchestral sounds on Looking For God. But these details only complement the bright, rich guitars that are the base for each song.
For many potential listeners, the shouting might be the stumbling block. Although screaming is the main vocal technique, F***** Up play with different vocal styles in unexpected ways. There are church choir-styled backing vocals on No Epiphany that drive home the religious musings of the song, while twisted boy-girl harmonies on Royal Swan create the sound of someone spitting with fury over cabaret vocals. And if you came in on the refrain of ''I'll be your little mistake" on Black Albino Bones, you could swear you were listening to a chart-topping pop song. Perhaps intimidating for the band's name, The Chemistry of Common Life is more accessible than most hardcore, but still packs all the punch of the punk tradition. It's hardcore that shouldn't stay underground. --Amanda Farah
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Top customer reviews
And so it is. From the gentle opening to Son The Father, which develops into a charged battlecry, to the final blows of The Chemistry of Common Life, you have a briliantly diverse, angry sounding record that has depth and quality that you will love.
It flows wonderfully well as an album and once it's on your ipod selection, it will stay there. I've had this album for over a year now and it's still one of those records that I could not and will not put back in my 'listened to' category.
Probably the only thing that will hold the record back is the charged sound of the singing which is probably the real connection with hard core, but musically it has a right to be in the collection of lovers of Green Day as much as those of us who love a bit of Minor Threat, Discharge, Gallows or Black Flag.
It's one of the best releases in the past three years and really does deserve its five stars review, so don't dally, buy it and you'll be playing it for ages.
It's an abrasive sound, qith vocals that are delivered with real venom against a pretty rocking backtrack, but it has to be said that there is a real depth to their sound which reminds me of some of the best 80's punk, perhaps a little Minor Threat mixed with the quality songwriting of the Descendents. I'm not sure that's the best compliment I could pay this work, but I can tell you that it's a very consistent album with quality from beginning to end and will certainly be a record that will stand the test of time.
Great effort and well worth the full album download.
Like Metallica start both Ride The Lightning andMaster Of Puppets, so do F**ked (pesky censure) Up, with a folky, quiet, tension-growing section before cracking into the more expected (controlled) shouting and juggernaut guitars, but there is flute-based! Where F**ked Up deviate from their peers is that this plucked (plucky?), folky element is present throughout, as is a conscious level of progressive style.
The greatest shame is the album does not include a version of `Year of the Pig', their 18-minute part-folk, part-prog, entirely hardcore masterpiece, not even the 4-minute version available on Rough Trade Shops - Counter Culture 2007 is made available. But this gives reasonable impetus to buying that as well, so wise marketing, and one for the collectors I'd say.
The album definitely works best as a ensemble and as such I shan't single out any track for note, except perhaps to note that an 18-minute opus would have upset this collective balance, and perhaps, truth be told, the 4-minute condensation doesn't cut the necessary mustard.
In Pink Eyes the band surely have one of the most enigmatic of front man, particularly live, when he resembles a mildly saner Tim Harrington of Les Savy Fav, with whom comparison can certainly be made.
This is a breathless odyssey and rich in deviation from a dusty template, and serves well as a crossover album, which should endear them in sales but whether it is quite hard enough for hardcore fans may be an issue for hot debate.
This Canadian outfit emerged from Toronto's hardcore scene having formed way back in 2002 and have established a growing reputation as something special. Hidden World, their previous double album from 2006, attracted sufficient interest to ensure that they were signed to Matador.
Chemistry... is undoubtedly hardcore, but it's also ambitious, epic and hugely impressive. Opening track Son The Father sets the tone with it's furious call and response vocal, massive riff and strident condemnation of religion. Vocalist Pink Eyes (all the band employ bizarre monikers such as 10,000 marbles) gravelly vocal style won't be to everyone's taste, but adds to the sense of anger in tracks like Crooked Head. Relatively straightforward tracks like Days Of Last, mix with delicate instrumental numbers like Golden Seal. The band's three guitarists are well used, laying down dense, complex textures, notably on No Epiphany. Comparisons have been made to Husker Dü and these are valid; not perhaps in terms of sound, but in terms of sheer ambition and desire to really redefine their genre. Chemistry... is a hugely rewarding record; it's complexity ensures that you constantly notice different elements, and it deserves to reach a wider audience.
Fu**ed Up's label, Matador are very good at offering free MP3s of their acts and selections from this album have been available of late. Finally, it's pleasant to buy a CD where the album art is a thing of beauty; 2008 seems to have been a year of interesting releases marred by rubbish artwork.