92.) Fucked Up - The Chemistry of Common Life (2008)
Based solely on their name it's pretty clear that Fucked Up aren't necessarily looking to become a household name, but who says they shouldn't be?
On the surface, it seems easy to describe the music of Fucked Up. It's hardcore. Pure and simple. Except it's not. Fucked Up are loud, for sure, but they're also terrific composers and musicians who add layers upon layers of guitar track over each song - not unlike the way Johnny Marr used to do in the Smiths - and though lead singer Pink Eyes doesn't really sing at all, his howl is undeniably powerful.
The Chemistry of Common Life was released on Matador and scored high on pitchfork's hipster scale almost in spite of itself. It's as if Fucked Up are saying "Come on. We dare you to like it." But you want to know a secret? It's far from being an impossible task...yes the lyrics are at times indecipherable - but take a look at them, they're smart, deep and spiritual- and the music often comes at you at 100 miles per hour all while threatening to spit you out all over the road, but when you strip all that away The Chemistry of Common Life is actually a pretty catchy record, even if they'd probably kill me for saying so.
"Crooked Head" and "Black Albino Bones" could have been played on radio if there was a different vocalist and the chorus on the epic opening track (incidentally one of the best opening tracks in recent memory) "Son the Father" is virtually impossible to shake.
What's even better about The Chemistry of Common Life is I like it ten times more today than I did three months ago and three months ago I liked it twenty times more than I did the three prior. It's one of those records. It didn't even make my "25 favorite records on 2008" and now it blows away at least half of them. Hindsight, you know?
The Chemistry of Common Life is a tough record to get through the first few times (maybe even the first few dozen) but stick it out. I hate referring to a record as a "grower" because, truth be told, all records are growers but sometimes you're more willing to stick with one over another. Make sure The Chemistry of Common Life lands firmly in that category.
Posted by Pat Driscoll