7/10 Mike Staff review, 29 May 2014
Toronto stadium punks Fucked Up are back this week with another ambitious LP of melodramatic three guitar epic-core and they’re sounding as cavernous as ever on ‘Glass Boys’. Every song sounds like a big compressed wall of guitar distortion, pounding drums and roaring vocals. It’s not bad, but aesthetically seems not to really show the same leaps in development that were made between the previous three LPs - it’s got that same chunky and grandiose fist-pumping wind-tunnel momentum but this time the songs seem more introspective rather than sticking to the narrative concept formula that’s previously worked so well for them.
Which is to say that if you were really into ‘David Comes To Life’, you’ll probably get your lighters out for this one too, but if you preferred the early days when they were a bit more gross-sounding and sloppy then the ambitiously arranged roar’n’churn here might seem a little sterile. It does sound gigantic, with an intimidating whirlwind of guitar and huge great open-throated choruses that will make all the kids stick their finger in the air, but the lack of either concept or musical progression does leave it feeling a little unfocused compared to their previous big artistic statements.
The LP version comes with an alternative version of the album recorded entirely with half-time drums, which sounds intriguing but alas I am reviewing from the CD so that’s all I can tell you about it.
6/10 Peter Kiely Customer review, 8th July 2014
I feel really weird giving this album a 6. I really wanted to like it a whole lot, as I think Fucked Up, whilst possibly a polarizing band for many people with an interest in punk, to be a band who really can churn out songs no one else would write (Year of the Rat and Year of the Ox are undeniable) and they really have their wall of sound thing down. Some beautiful noises they do create. ‘Queen of Hearts’ makes my shoulders tingle every time.
I did really like this album on first listen. Hey, I was excited for it. I was also really excited for the half speed drum version (something I actually think worked really well, which even improves certain songs).
Both versions of the album start strong with Echo Boomer, but I’ve got to admit there are a few forgettable songs here. The lead single ‘Paper the house’ actually put me off expecting too much from the album for a little while. Faith was restored after they released both versions of J Mascis collaboration ‘Led by Hand’, where I personally think the slow one is fantastic. It’s one track I can honestly say I will continue to go back to. The next release, ‘Sun Glass’, is also a good track (and was a lot of fun to shout along to live), but for those who check this album out on youtube, don’t make the mistake of watching the frankly cringe-inducing music video whilst listening to the track. Keep that one in the album.
One high point of the album is ‘Warm Change’, which starts off with a quirky drumbeat, which I enjoyed comparing between the fast and slow versions. In fact, there is a general novelty with the drumming between the fast and slow versions, which unfortunately is probably where most of the merit I’d give this album lies. It’s not a bad album… just one that doesn’t really leave a mark on me. It just feels like they're driving the same point home fairly repeatedly, and it doesn't offer me much. Maybe I’d feel different if I was in a Mid-Life Crisis.
I'll still maintain that they kill it live.
8/10 Sam Shepherd Customer review, 20th June 2014
There's no time for sprawling concepts this time around, which might disappoint those that regard David Comes To Life as something of a creative peak for Fucked Up. Glass Boys is more direct, more concise, but sounds just as massive as its predecessor. Despite not being a concept album as such, there are themes that run through the songs - namely, growing old, discovering responsibilty and artistic compromise.
In essence, this is the sound of a band in the midst of a midlife crisis. Thankfully, they seem to sound pretty pissed off about it, so it's still the full on, wall-of-sound attack that those familiar with the band will know and love.
YOUR RECENTLY VIEWED ITEMS
- Glass Boys by Fucked Up
Get alerted to new stock from this artist / label.