Fucked Up at the Larimer Lounge

Fucked Up, Mustangs & Madras, Guns N Rosa Parks
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Larimer Lounge
Better than:
The G.G. Allin documentary.

Right off the bat let's dispense with two things. One: Fucked Up is an awful name for a band. Two: If you are going to name your band Fucked Up, timidity is not going to be one of your strong points. Now that that's out of the way, let's flash forward to the present where Wednesday night, the Larimer Lounge hit a home run by pairing Canada's confrontational punk upstarts, the aforementioned Fucked Up, with Longmont's finest, Mustangs & Madras.

Before getting to the main dish openers, Guns N Rosa Parks invited us to travel back into the time machine where Reagan is still president and Henry Rollins was not yet a household name. Hardcore to a fault and firmly comfortable with that formula, Guns N Rosa Parks moved along quickly (Yes!) and painlessly. Appealing to both the dyed-black hair crowd and the crust punk dilettantes, the band is carving out a niche that its both good at and comfortable with. I guess there is something to say for that.

Taking the energy from the openers and directing it in a way more interesting and less conventional way, Mustangs & Madras charged out of the gate like a sweaty post-punk bull that couldn't be contained. While it would be easy to compare the group to its forefathers (Pop Group, Gang of Four, maybe even PIL), Mustangs forcefully tears away at these influences like one Michael Vick's pit bulls and puts it back together in a manner that is wholly original. As always, the guys were on fire live and bowled over the Larimer crowd in spectacular fashion.

That Fucked Up has become one of the hotter hype bands this last year is certainly surprising on several levels. Sure, the outfit's name lends itself to a certain shock value aspect, but the music doesn't follow it down that path, certainly not on the band's Matador debut, Chemistry Of Common Life, an album that is notable for it's lushness and it's total lack of entry. But where that record tucked it's punk/hardcore gems inside Kevin Shields like sonic wallpaper, live the band unfurls into a bare bones rock unit, with belly sweat soaked singer Father Damien leading the charge, while guitar whiz Mike Haliechuck scissors through the mess. Particularly on songs like "No Epiphany," "Golden Seal," and Hidden World's "Invisible Leader," the band became one cohesive element that filled the room, battered our brains and made us forget their shitty name.

Critic's Notebook
Personal Bias: In a battle of worst band names Guns and Rosa Parks wins.
Random Detail: Fucked Up's Father Damien looks like GG Allin's bastard son. The resemblance is frightening.

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