Saturday, January 7, 2012

Fucked Up - David Comes To Life

“Who can I trust?!” Damian Abraham screams repeatedly towards the end of “Life In Paper”, one of several great tracks found on Fucked Up’s latest record, David Comes To Life.

And you think to yourself “Who can I trust?”

Should I give trust to the bank who loaned me six figures to live in this house?

Will I trust this president for another four years after watching him ignore the issues that I thought he would address during his first term?

Can I trust this Facebook friend who I’ve never met in real life with information on my family as we try to keep the world appraised of our activities?

Would you trust me if I told you that Fucked Up have delivered the best (if only) punk rock opera since Husker Du mixed those very words together with Zen Arcade?

Do I even care if you listen? There’s so much static in this world anyway, so many people beating their opinion on top of you that I completely understand if you just ignored everything about this review and went along, content with whatever it is you’re comfortable with in your current catalog.

But I’m here to tell you that you’d be missing out on a really good punk rock band pushing themselves beyond whatever expectation they set for themselves, as well as going beyond whatever limitations their band name provides them.

Fucked Up takes a huge leap in nearly every aspect of their genre, becoming the first punk rock band in quite some time that understands how the formula in punk rock should be that there are no formulas. To do this, they’ve created a story arc about a fictional dude named David. They’ve done this primarily with the hopes that the listener doesn’t figure out that the story arc itself is just some lame smokescreen created with the hopes that we all don’t end up figuring out that the songs are really about them.

If you must: David works in a light bulb factory, falls in love with leftie chick who dies while building a bomb, disaster strikes and then things get murky. At the end of the day, it’s a record about relationships and if the brevity between us all suggests that we might be better off with our individual toils without all of the human drama. The music and continuous yell of Abraham give the record’s bluntness some added weight, suggesting that emphasis on how we treat each other during this time together.

While the vocals may sound like limited reflections, Abraham manages the unique feat of shoving a bunch of emotional content into those guttural projections. It depends on the topic, and by the time he’s set his sights on heavier matters like death itself, he scales back the angst and turns up the advice. He tells us to stand tall and reminds us that life doesn’t always mean you don’t have to dwell on what dreams you lost, but what you did before laying down your head.

Be proud that you lived “Not the life that you wanted” but focused on “the life that you led.” He adds that life really does mean experiencing it-ups and downs-and to not think that a quick shot from a cell phone doesn’t really mean you lived that moment because “the pictures we take don’t resolve, just reflect.”

How telling that the band is now considering an extended hiatus so that members can begin using some of these lessons in real life! It only proves that David Comes To Life could actually serve as inspiration to your own epiphany if you’re able to hear the message beneath the record’s wonderful cacophony.

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