Search The Line of Best Fit
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One Day continues Fucked Up's boundary pushing trajectory

"One Day"

Release date: 27 January 2023
Fucked Up One Day coverart
27 January 2023, 00:00 Written by Ross Horton

Over a decade after its inception in the '70s, punk decided that the world wasn’t listening to its cries of mortal anguish.

Spawning a newer, faster and uglier version of itself, it would need a name befitting its newfound intensity – hardcore. '80s hardcore bands like The Misfits and Black Flag increased the volume, increased the violence and took punk somewhere far nastier than it had ever been before.

Though their roots are in hardcore, Canadian legends Fucked Up have spent their entire career attempting to undo all the hard work of their forebears and add the drama and the showmanship back into punk rock. Hell, you could even call them ‘progressive’

Their magnum opus, David Comes To Life, found a fine balance between indie rock, hardcore and even classic rock, then turned that blend into a rock opera with heart. Their most recent album, Year of the Horse, went further than the band have ever been before: a four track, 90 minute art rock odyssey that was baffling and awesome in the classic and modern senses of the word.

They’ve explored psychedelic rock, heavy metal, power pop, indie and New Wave and post-punk. Their rise from simple hardcore to world-beating rock conceptualists is nothing short of staggering.

This new one, One Day, continues the band’s trajectory, pushing at the boundaries of a variety of genres and showcasing the relentlessness they’ve become known for.

This time around, the concept is simple – a newly slimmed-down four-piece iteration of the band (Damian Abraham on vocals, Mike Haliechuk on guitar, Sandy Miranda on bass and Jonah Falco on drums) would write and record their parts for the album (remotely) in 24 hours. Whether you believe them or not is immaterial – the album has such an overwhelming energy that it’s entirely plausible they pulled it off. These songs sound like they were written quickly, and performed without a rest, and as such are often breathless and breakneck.

It opens with “Found”, a searing alt. rocker with smouldering guitars and a savage intensity. Then the band put their best Thin Lizzy costumes on for the opening moments of “I Might Be Weird”, before whipping them off to reveal something much stranger beneath. Tracks like “…Weird” are key to understanding what makes Fucked Up so special: just when you think you can guess where a track (or even an album) is going, they pull a hard left and take you somewhere completely different.

Later, they switch to a more conventional hardcore rhythmic approach on “Huge New Her”, which – as well as being ye olde pulse-quickener – shows that the band haven’t forgotten their bread and butter, and are more than willing to engage with the kind of sonic displays that brought them to our attention in the first place.

Other highlights across the record include homages to noise rock heroes of yore. “Cicada”, which the album press kit accurately describes as being indebted to Hüsker Dü (or more accurately Bob Mould’s entire output), and “Lords of Kensington”, which aims for Sonic Youth and largely hits the mark, showcase the band’s commitment to absorbing influence from the very best bands and refashioning their styles to fit the Fucked Up sound.

Finally, the album closes with the nostalgic rush of “Roar”, which – for those listeners of a certain age – evokes the endless hours spent playing Tony Hawk video games and watching Jackass-adjacent stunt videos. It’s an incredibly nostalgic sound, and one that the fans of Fucked Up always clamour for.

One Day takes what could have been an inhibiting concept, and turns it into something wonderful. This album is diverse, thoughtful and – most importantly – rewarding. It’s not the strongest work of Fucked Up’s career - but it may very well be the most thrilling.

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