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Wow, 15 minutes into this record I'm still kinda speechless. This is some ambitious shit right here, but I guess that shouldn't surprise you too much from these guys, since their records seem to get more epic with each successive release. After a certain amount of crossover success with their last album, this time they've gone the whole hog and made an 80-minute rock opera. In a nutshell it seems to be about a character David (presumably the one to which their recent weird 'David's Town' release referred) who lives in a British town and is involved in a tragic love affair, but there's a lot more to it than that and I feel like if I try to unravel it here I'll just make myself look ignorant because it's pretty sprawling and articulate. Musically I'd say the most notable thing about this release is that it's not as frantically paced as previous FU releases - there's pretty regular use of female vocals which gives it a kind of shoegazey feel in places, especially with the density of their three-guitar attack over it. In parts there's a real Springsteen thing going on, but it's rarely embarrassing like all those mystifyingly successful current US bands' takes on the Boss's style. There's some definite melodrama in places, though, and in places it does go a bit My Chemical Romance-for-grown-ups. I'm not sure if I mean that in a bad way or not. Both I guess. There's moments that seem really heavily influenced by the British psych-pop of the '60s and '70s, too, but always with Pink Eyes rasping and barking over the top. To be honest it's really refreshing to hear those kind of references from a band that's not just peddling your bogstandard twee indie pop. There's something I'm finding very soothing about this record, it seems like something you'd listen to while you kicked back at home on a summer afternoon with all the doors and windows wide open, you know? It's got all those elements of heaviness that you expect from Fucked Up but I think more than ever they're coming across as totally unhurried and self-assured. I saw them live a couple of weeks back and they totally cranked it up a notch, none of the sloppiness and fuck ups that characterised their earlier shows, just total epic power and energy. With gigs like that and an album like this, it seems like the moment where these guys really become big hitters.
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