Album Review: Fucked Up, ‘One Day’

Let’s get the apparent out of the way in which first: One Day is a decent document. It’s Fucked Up’s shortest full-length up to now, a major milestone for a band that has made the occasional compact assertion however is generally identified for constantly increasing its horizons. Although they’ve stored busy prior to now few years – embracing daring ideas and elaborate theatrics on 2021’s Yr of the Horse earlier than scaling issues again with final 12 months’s Oberon EP – sufficient time has handed since their final correct LP, 2018’s Does Your Desires, to make you marvel the place this group’s ambitions now lie. Fucked Up’s unique declare to fame was revitalizing hardcore, and now {that a} new crop of bands has blown the style open in a couple of totally different instructions, what’s the subsequent transfer going to be? Would they push for one more conceptual double album or take a back-to-basics strategy as a reminder of their roots? On condition that certainly one of their current releases was a reissue of early recordings, you’d assume they could lean towards the latter.
However Fucked Up aren’t the form of band to take the apparent route, in order that they’ve provide you with a unique experiment. The title of One Day is sort of literal: When it got here to writing and recording the album, vocalist Damian Abraham, guitarist Mike Haliechuk, bassist Sandy Miranda, and drummer Jonah Falco confined themselves to a 24-hour timeframe. Haliechuk laid the groundwork throughout three periods spanning eight hours every, and the remainder of the band needed to full their components remotely whereas sticking to the one-day rule. When your music is outlined not by a selected sound however by its lack of boundaries, why not see what occurs if you attempt setting a severe one? That they’ve managed to drag it off is a feat in itself, although the actual thrill isn’t a lot the way it streamlines their sound (which nonetheless comes off as dense and layered as ever), however the perspective it ended up forcing up upon the lyrics, a form of seize-the-day angle that raises the stakes and induces added urgency with out feeling manufactured.

When there’s trying again, it’s to confront arduous truths and spill them out. Most of One Day is searingly private, however opener ‘Discovered’ begins by adopting a lens of collective duty to deal with Canada’s historical past of colonization: “I stood on the shore of a narrative we don’t inform anymore/ All of the names had been erased/ Buried beneath a land that my folks stole.” Although Abraham contributed lyrics for the primary time since 2014’s Glass Boys – he and Haliechuk wrote 5 songs every – numerous the emotions clearly overlap. Take the Abraham-penned ‘Lords of Kensington’, which equally grapples with the implications of a shared previous lived in negligence: “Whenever you crack the façade, you may see the reality/ We lived out lives like they had been solely ours to lose.”
Abraham applies the identical nervy depth because the framing narrows and widens once more, his bellowing voice usually accompanied by softly anthemic backing vocals that intensify the sheer joyousness it may typically disguise. On spotlight ‘Big New Her’, they’re not even wanted: incendiary guitars pierce by means of a pummeling rhythm part like rays from the sky, brilliant sufficient to promote a line about “the Delphi in your self.” It suits proper alongside the glam-rock strut of ‘I Assume I May Be Bizarre’, a curiously titled story of putting up with stormy seas that serves as an fascinating distinction to ‘Discovered’. Some tales on One Day are rather less allegorical, and naturally, the band usually has to sacrifice nuance for directness. However that doesn’t imply they abandon their maximalist tendencies, permitting themselves to at the very least stretch a lot of the songs previous the 3-minute mark or belt the refrain out one further time to hammer the purpose residence.
Impressively, the conclusions they arrive at on One Day are a bit of extra resonant than you’d anticipate given the self-imposed restrictions. ‘Damaged Little Boys’ would possibly look like it’s recycling the identical concepts about taking accountability, till the tune takes a intelligent flip: “God was corrupt and the entire world is fucked/ And a query’s struck/ Is God a damaged boy?/ God’s only a damaged little boy!” It’s fairly foolish, positive, but it surely’s the form of irreverent punchline that might have in any other case most likely been tossed away in favour of both simplicity or sophistication, and it’s enjoyable to listen to them run with it. That’s not the place the profundity lies, although: Fucked Up are clever to finish the album with a trio of heartfelt songs about loss and love, the stuff you wish to bear in mind and maintain on to when time appears to be operating out. “On the finish of all historical past let only one factor be left of me,” Abraham pleads on the title observe. “What might you do in simply in the future?/ Fall in love, spend your time away.” Haliechuk wrote these lyrics, but it surely’s no marvel Abraham echoes them within the album’s ultimate line: “Ultimately, that’s all we’d like.”