For Fans Of
Glass Boys is a record exposed. Undoubtedly, the Toronto based punk rock powerhouse are the almighty conquerors of the kind of over-the-top (but completely necessary), rock-opera inspired madness that has delightfully slathered studio-album 1, 2 and 3, and made Fucked Up a relatively awe inspiring household name. Not only illustrious, but also acclaimed (see winning of the Canadian Polaris Prize for The Chemistry Of Common Life in 2011), in 2014 the band is now confronted with the inevitable prospect of their maturity. It’s for this reason that Glass Boys is a record guided by a somewhat frill-less Fucked Up, baring their teeth, and their soul for all to see.
In an attempt to hone their melodic endeavors, ‘Echo Boomer’ begins with an intriguing and minimal melodic introduction. Suspenseful from the get go, both ‘Echo Boomer’ and following track, ‘Touch Stone’ are soon bursting with aggression and the guttural, sharp edged growl of Damian Abraham.
It’s clear that even if the ‘maturing’ label is thrown at them, Fucked Up are still youthful at heart, and the bouncing, manic energy of ‘Touch Stone’ and the perplexing pop sensibilities in ‘Sun Glass’ simply affirms this claim. On Glass Boys, Fucked Up oftentimes place sweet vocal choruses, like the ones on ‘Paper The House,’ twinkly melodies like the ones on the title track, and catchy hooks like the ones that appear on ‘Warm Change’, parallel to the mutli-layered drum track of Jonah Falco, the heavy handed and obscenely opinionated lyrical snide of Abraham, and the general grittiness of Fucked Up’s demolishing punk rock sound.
Essentially, the vibe of Glass Boys is one where you can sense the band feel reassured in their abilities and are not propelled by a desire to push all of the boundaries to their absolute limit. Nevertheless, the group’s songwriting presence still hits home with a significant impact, like on ‘The Art of Patrons,’ where Abraham growls ‘one by one we will find a way to let each and everyone down,’ to the unassuming tune of light acoustics and chorus chants.
They say you can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the county out of the girl.
Similarly, you could try to take the drama and eccentricities out of Fucked Up, but moments like ‘Led By The Hand’ and the final, title track, Glass Boys, (particularly the unexpected piano solo) is proof that this band will never truly lose that theatrical nature that makes their rock opera-wired song writing shine.
Much like the quintet are coming to the realisation that they are the bearded (well, not all of them), punk rock equivalent to a bottle of untouched 86 year old champagne getting dusty in the wine cellar, on Glass Boys, Fucked Up are mid-life crisis-ing their way through the record. Nevertheless, as a band with a long of career kicking butt and taking names, and an equally lengthy one ahead of them if they should wish it, Fucked Up shouldn’t be stuck to gather dust in the cellar any time soon.
1. Echo Boomer
2. Touch Stone
3. Sun Glass
4. The Art Of Patrons
5. Warm Change
6. Paper The House
8. Led By Hand
9. The Great Divide
10. Glass Boys