“This song’s for anyone who’s ever been made fun of for being fat, or a loser, or too skinny…you know, fuck those douchebags–you’re beautiful!” An almost surprisingly positive message if you weren’t familiar with the lead growler of Fucked Up’s Damian Abraham. With a band name that oftentimes cannot be printed in a publication (one time it was even printed as “Effed Up”) or said on national television, many assume that a hardcore punk band must showcase a volatile attitude to match the loud, in-your-face intensity of the music they create.
The spacious Exit/In wasn’t a packed house for last Monday night’s event, but somehow it worked as an oddly intimate punk show happening at a friend’s house who happened to have a well-stocked tiki bar. If it was ever awkward, you wouldn’t know it by the time local punk favorites Cy Barkley and the Way Outsiders took the stage and the half circle of space in front of them began to fill. Their quick-pulsed set was the perfect flint to get the fire burning for Fucked Up.
The best way to describe Damian Abraham/Mr. Damian/Father Damian/Pink Eyes is the human form of cartoon Tasmanian devil. He tears his way through the crowd, spinning tornado-like around the room picking up and hugging people as he goes along dragging them into his escalating storm one high five at a time. His energy is undeniably infectious, and it’s impossible to keep a stone cold serious face that pretends to look unimpressed as so many usually do at shows. I mean, people still go to shows to have fun right? He was shirtless by the end of their first song, the title track from their new album, and by mid-set he was in the balcony. It didn’t take long for most of the guys in the front to remember this notion of fun and began to mosh and move with the encouragement of Abraham propelling his voice and body towards the crowd while almost swallowing his mic. It’s difficult to decipher which songs were starting and ending through the wide range fan-friendly set because everyone began to focus on following Abraham around the venue. After sliding down the bannister off the balcony, he climbed on top of the bar leaving the crowd gazing up at him wide-eyed as if he was a cult leader demonstrating how to have a damn good time.
The Canadian natives just released their fourth studio album, Glass Boys, under Matador Records a month ago, six years after they exploded onto the scene with their critically acclaimed album, The Chemistry of Common Life, and three years after their more than successful rock opera follow up, David Comes to Life. The six-piece group have no trouble transitioning from album to album. Never recreating the same ideas or topics in their songs, but not entirely straying from the roots that tie down their fans with interest in their future endeavors keeps their respected spot in the music scene secure for years to come. On top of that solidarity, you can bet that there will never be a dull moment at a Fucked Up show.
Pick up a copy of Glass Boys available now at Matador Records.