If you haven’t already listened to Fucked Up’s lead singer Damian Abraham’s excellent podcast Turned Out a Punk, you should. It’s an open book insight into Abraham’s values, views and vision when it comes to the music he appreciates and creates. Through his conversations, a window is opened and you can see right in – this is a man with a deep knowledge of the craft, someone who has expertly channeled his understanding of ‘rock’ music into the creative and genre-bending beast that is Fucked Up. This is a band simultaneously comfortable serving up anthems alongside breakdowns. Their Discogs page reads like a catalogue of chaos – pity the Fucked Up completionist, for their task is truly Sisyphean. In many ways, this reflects Abraham’s own ability to talk music with Tom Delonge and Tim Heidecker, Billy Bragg and Bob Mould, Johnny Marr and Julien Baker.
On One Day, Fucked Up pick up where they left off on Dose Your Dreams. Guitars soar, cascade and collide over cavernous drums. On opener ‘Found’, Abraham sings, backed up by his brothers and sisters in arms: ‘There I stood on the shore of a story we don’t tell anymore…’ – that sense of abandonment and separation rings out across One Day. Having dipped in and out of Fucked Up’s catalogue over the past decade or more, since the arrival of seminal record The Chemistry of Common Life, it has always been clear that Fucked Up are a band who never shy from making you want to run through a sea of people to sing along with them.
On album standout ‘Lords of Kensington’, you’re washed in a sea of wide angled guitars, and again that sense of standing on the outside looking on in emerges. This is rock music tinged with a sense of melancholy, as though you’re watching the sounds themselves fade away. The only anchor is Abraham’s voice, which always sits so firmly in the centre of the mix, as all else around appears on the edge of being lost. Fucked Up, since their earliest inception, have always deferred to their man at the front – in live shows, he is a burly sweaty ball of energy, never too far from the crowd, always likely to end up shirtless, drawing you in, pulling you close.
One Day is a consistent reminder of the fact that there are still wells to be dug in the land of guitar music. This is loud, confident, emotive music that demands to be listened to at full volume. This is Abraham, the man who so eloquently dissects punk music on his podcast, turning the tables and combining all that he understands to create the perfect mix of the heavy and the soft. This is an excellent album and hopefully not the last from Fucked Up.
Fucked Up’s One Day is out 27th January 2023 on Rough Trade and Rats Love Music.
This was written by Alex Sarychkin. You can follow me on twitter: @inalexworld