Fucked Up is a Canadian Hardcore Punk band consisting of 10,000 Marbles (Mike Haliechuk, guitar), Pink Eyes (Damien Abraham, vocals), Concentration Camp/Gulag (Josh Zucker, rhythm guitar, vocals), Mustard Gas (Sandy Miranda, bass guitar), Mr. Jo (Jonah Falco, drums) and Young Governor (Chris Colohan, guitar). They generally avert Three Chords and the Truth, as their music features a complex sound produced by many layers of guitar and the occasional synth and their lyrics often involve confusing symbolism, all driven by a strong punk energy.
Fucked Up have five full-length studio alums:
- Hidden World (2006)
- The Chemistry of Common Life (2008)
- David Comes to Life (2011)
- Glass Boys (2014)
- Dose Your Dreams (2018)
as well as a very long list of singles and 12"s. Of particular note is their Zodiac series, where the band released approximately one 12" per year in a thematic series based around the Eastern Zodiac.
- Arc Words:
- Chemistry, in The Chemistry of Common Life.
- "Dose your dreams" and variants of the phrase show up as lyrics in a number of the songs in the album of the same day, connecting to the album's themes of escapism as a way to deal with depression.
- Alice Allusion: The music video for "Year of the Hare" is a disorienting video about a guy stuck in time loops, that features frequent references to white rabbits. There's even an Easter Egg that links to a Youtube clip of the White Rabbit's first appearance in Alice in Wonderland.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: In "Lights Go up" off the David Comes to Life album, David says "Ours wasn't a love for an audience", drawing attention to the fact that his whole relationship was the subject of a series of songs, often performed live. The song is full of metaphors about concerts and performance.
- Call-Back: "Torch to Light" references David Comes to Life by the name and compares it to a play on a stage, similar to a metaphor used at the end of that album.
- Concept Album: Pretty much every album follows a theme: The Chemistry of Common Life is about how to live without God, Glass Boys is about how Growing Up Sucks and adult failure to live up to childhood dreams. Then there's their Zodiac series of singles, basically an album released over 10 years. Of all their albums, David Comes to Life is the most clear-cut example.
- Distinct Double Album: Disc 1 of Dose Your Dreams has a pretty consistent, New Wave-influenced sound, while Disc 2 swings widely across different genres before ending up back at something similar to Fucked Up's previous, more punk sound by the end.
- Eastern Zodiac: The Zodiac series is a series of 12" singles with the title track named and themed after the signs of the Eastern Zodiac. The band is currently on "Year of the Snake".
- Friend Versus Lover: Part of the conflict in David Comes to Life. David's friends resent the pace of his relationship with Veronica and hope it will end.
- Genre Roulette: Dose Your Dreams includes a few songs in Fucked Up's traditional hardcore style, but much of the first half of the album has strong New Wave influences, and the rest of the album hits up such diverse genres as 70's-style Baroque Pop ("Two I's Closed"), Dreampop ("How to Die Happy"), more mainstream Indie Rock ("The One I Want Will Come For Me"), and Industrial/Hardcore Techno ("Mechanical Bull").
- "Groundhog Day" Loop: The interactive music video for "Year of the Hare" features a loop of a man getting ready for work, which the viewer has to try to escape.
- Licensed Game: A strange example: the video for "Year of the Hare" is interactive and is basically a video game. In order to see all of the video and "solve the puzzle", you have to figure out keyboard commands to change the scenes in the correct order.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: All over the map. Their instrumental songs come in around 2 (mild and down-tempo, but with some dissonance), while others hit around 8 with their frenetic pace, screamed/growled vocals, and harsh lyrics. Other songs fall inbetween, as the relative balance of angry vocals, poppy riffs, and dissonant sound layering varies wildly.
- New Sound Album: Dose Your Dreams. Previous albums incorporated other musical influences but still maintained a consistent complex hardcore sound, but Dose Your Dreams deviates from this sound on majority of songs, incorporating a wider range of genres (notably New Wave) and de-emphasizing Abraham's distinctive voice, while increasing the electronic aspects. This is likely a result of Abraham's reduced involvement in writing the album.
- Non-Appearing Title: Most songs don't have the title in the lyrics; exceptions such as "Sun Glass", "Royal Swan", "Crooked Head", "Glass Boys", "The Chemistry of Common Life" are easier to count than examples. "Echo Boom" is an example but a strange one; it's the first song on Glass Boys and it receives a Title Drop in the last song of the album.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Earlier in their career, band members were credited only by their pseudonyms, and the real identity of many members was unknown to the public.
- Precision F-Strike: Surprisingly (given the band's name) mostly averted, but in "Twice Born", the chorusHand up if you think you're the only oneWe all have our hands up
Hand up if you think you're the only oneWe all have our fucking hands up
- is modified for emphasis at the end of the song to
- Religion Rant Song: All of The Chemistry of Common Life to some extent, but particularly "Son the Father" and "Days of Last" off that album. Generally an even mixture of Types 1 and 2; the sentiment is that life is terrible, so either God doesn't care about us or God Is Evil. Thus, belief in God is stupid and pointless.
- Rock Opera:
- David Comes to Life tells the story of David, a lonely soul. The album chronicles David falling in love with Veronica, their relationship and its problems. Ultimately, David and Veronica break up but David emerges wiser.
- Dose Your Dreams revisits the character of David, focusing on his loneliness and alienation and his various attempts to distract himself from the pain of existence.
- Song Style Shift: "Living in a Simulation" is 50% soft, melodic classical music with indistinct female vocals, and 50% extremely aggressive punk rock. It shifts abruptly from one to the other halfway through.
- Soprano and Gravel: Pink Eyes' voice is a guttural growl, which is often contrasted with a higher, usually (but not always) female, more conventional singing voice.
- Used most extensively in David Comes to Life, which has a number of songs such as "Queen of Hearts" or "The Recursive Girl" that are essentially male-female duets.
- "I Don't Wanna Live In This World Anymore" ends with Pink Eyes growling "I don't wanna live in this fucking world anymore" backed by an operatic soprano singing the same thing minus the F-bomb.
- Title Track: "The Chemistry of Common Life", "Glass Boys"
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: "Son the Father" portrays this as humanity's relationship to God, eternally seeking approval but getting no response.
- Word Salad Lyrics: Crops up from time to time. Songs often feature lyrics that seem like some sort of metaphor, but for what is unclear. From "The Chemistry of Common Life":Iron Antlers fill the skyMetal organs fertilizeSparks and ingots come aliveChemistry of common life