4) Fucked Up – Dose Your Dreams
Yes, the name, the name, the freaking name. I’m sure in the early days it was a double-edged sword, if there ever was one. It perks up the ears of the punk kids looking for what they think will be some rebellious grindcore, but then immediately lets them down with what they hear coming out of their speakers. Oh, there’s a hardcore and punk elements here, don’t get me wrong – but there’s no way in the world you could put Fucked Up into that category. This is an indie rock band a heart who just happens to have a lead singer who growls (delivered with 90% passion and only 10% anger, mind you). Also, please – don’t judge this book by the obscenity on it’s cover. The talent here is undeniable, and the music the furthest thing from shock value (even if their name may have started that way – who knows?).
Dose Your Dreams is their fifth full length, and I must be honest – while it’s fantastic – it isn’t quite their best. I do think it’s better than their 2009 Polaris Prize winning The Chemistry Of Common Life. But it still can’t touch – and surely nothing ever will – the enormity of 2011’s rock opera David Comes To Life. That record tells the tale of a man named David, and his love, Veronica. David works in a light bulb factory in England, circa the early 1980s. There’s an unreliable narrator involved. Bomb explosions. There’s death, forgiveness, ghosts, overcoming guilt. It’s a monster, and it’s probably untouchable.
Back to the current topic at hand. Dose Your Dreams is an eighteen track, 120 minute behemoth. Damian Abraham’s signature vocal shines throughout. The secret ingredient through is the the lone female – bassist Sandy Miranda. Her sweet backup vocal makes numerous tracks standouts – especially the likes of Rise Your Voice Joyce. You’ll be chanting along and raising your fist before you know what hit you! No two songs sound alike here. They have the straight up punk of None Of Your Business Man, sure – but then there’s horns and warbly keys on Living Is A Simulation, shoegazing on The One I Love Will Come For Me, and the fantastic danceable breakdown of Talking Pictures. It’s all a ton of fun, and fits so well with the eclectic personnel in this band.
I would be amiss if I didn’t mention their live show I saw back at Exit/In in Nashville a few years back. It was truly one of the most positive experiences I have ever had at a concert. Damian is a master of making everyone feel valued. He’s a big, hairy dude that was ripping his shirt off, while flying around the room and climbing the walls – all soaked in sweat – screaming at everyone to love and respect each other. Telling them they have worth and to talk to someone if they’re feeling really down because – no shit – people actually care about you, because you matter! I’ve spoke more about the band here than the record, but no matter. Fucked Up’s Dose Your Dreams is everything that punk should be.
Listen To: Tell Me What You See & Talking Pictures
Merge Records, October 5th, 2018