By Alec Warkentin
Sitting atop a pedestal that few post-millennium hardcore bands can even begin to fathom, Canadian punk outfit Fucked Up have been downright prolific since winning the prestigious Polaris Prize almost a decade ago for The Chemistry of Common Life.
Year of the Snake, the latest 12” in their acclaimed Zodiac Series, further emboldens the crew as quasi-art-hardcore forerunners, finding them mixing methodical, diegetic noise with vocalist Damian Abraham’s telltale growl over two new tracks: the 25-minute epic “Year of the Snake,” and “Passacaglia,” which finds the group exploring a more introspective, nuanced approach to heavy and relentless.
While Fucked Up are no strangers to bending the formula of what constitutes a solid-while-still-brutal album, the beauty of Year of the Snake lies in its ability to avoid common hardcore tropes: There’s no egregious noise for its own sake, no shriek or howl that’s not uncalled for or unwarranted, and even the experimentalism, something usually frowned upon in hardcore’s dedicated niche, is done immaculately and dystopian instrumentals occupy more space on the album than anything else.
In short,Year of the Snake is a strong release from a band who obviously knows what they’re doing, and the only gripe, really, is when the fuck is the next full length?Fucked Up, Year of the Snake