YEAR OF THE DRAGON, TANKCRIMES
2011’s David Comes to Life brought Toronto hardcore outfit Fucked Up more international acclaim than ever before but, for those familiar with the band, it only affirmed what was already known — this is a group that works without limitations and doesn’t succumb to trivial restrictions. Most notably on their latest “Zodiac Series” instalment, the most trivial restriction is song length. The only original track is the epic, engulfing 18-minute title track that, while building intense momentum on the back of the band’s propulsive rhythm section, changes direction on a whim. Favouring a brooding stomp, Year of the Dragon is an insight into the varied inspirations within a group of songwriters that can afford to take chances.
They do just that on the two covers on Side B, both homages to Toronto punk legends. Their takes on Cardboard Brains’s “I Wanna Be a Yank” and The Ugly’s “Disorder” suffer from poor production, but their energy and respect for the originals is still palpable. Fucked Up has always pulled in the reins for a more singular focus on full-length LPs. However, their “Zodiac Series” releases, Year of the Dragon in particular, showcase how proud the band is to put their name behind something you would not normally expect from them.
By Joshua Kloke