Fucked Up | Glass Boys Matador Records| ****
When you name your band Fucked Up, you automatically forego a certain level of mainstream acceptance. So credit the Canadian six-piece for pushing the boundaries of a hardcore band with an unprintable name to absurdly ambitious levels: touring with the Foo Fighters, writing rock operas and recording tracks longer than entire Circle Jerks albums. No doubt the band could have kept pushing things to even greater levels of epic, but they’ve made a shrewd and ultimately correct call by scaling things back for their fifth full-length, Glass Boys.
Of course, scaled back for this band is still fucking enormous. Lead guitarist Mike Haliechuck has proven himself the Phil Spector of hardcore, orchestrating an onslaught of hard-charging guitars and relentless drum fills that seem to build more and more with each advancing track. But the difference here is all in lead screamer Damien Abraham. Though he proved himself a helluva lyricist on 2012s David Comes To Life, his approach this time around is decidedly more Ian Mckaye than Leonard Cohen. His throat-rending howls and relentless energy push Glass Boys to awe-inspiring levels of intensity, particularly on its wildfire backstretch.