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October 10, 2006

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Overall Score: 95/100
Technicality: 90/100
Originality: 100/100
Vocals: 95/100

Similar Bands:
Who knows

75 minutes. Usually, albums that are this long don’t work. They get boring, are too drawn out, and usually would be more enjoyable if they were cut in half. With Hidden World, however, Fucked Up have discarded any rules about what a “normal” hardcore album “should” be and have created what could go down as one of the greatest punk albums of our time.

Hailing from Toronto, Fucked Up has always had a bit of mysteriousness about them. Using fake names on their albums (vocals are done by Pink Eyes, guitars by 10,000 Marbles and Concentration Camp, bass by Mustard Gas and drums by Mr. Jo), only putting out their releases on vinyl (Hidden World is their first official cd/lp), their very public and very recent feud with popular Canadian band Billy Talent, and the different references to fascism, mind control, and Nazism have all made Fucked Up a very intriguing and, at the same time, a very alienating and pretentious band. Hidden World only fuels that notion.

While most of their older material was short, fast hardcore songs, there is only one song on Hidden World less than 2 minutes long and only 4 less than 5 minutes, which is absolutely absurd for a punk album. Somehow, it works. Although it is hard to take Hidden World as a whole, it is also hard to stop listening to it. Most of the songs still follow Fucked Up’s simple formula, but at the same time elements never before seen on their previous works appear. Violins, organs, whistles, and mandolins are a few of the instruments incorporated onto the record. Also, some sung, choir-like vocal harmonies are added to the background, adding what amounts to another instrument.

2 older songs, Baiting the Public and Fate of Fates, are re-recorded on this, making both sound more polished and clean. The grittiness of their old sound is still included on this album, but the production is much cleaner. The lyrics are also very intriguing, adding a whole new element with a lot of imagery and a few Biblical references. The artwork, often overlooked and added last minute to most albums, is amazing and needs to be seen.

Overall, Hidden World has the possibility to change a scene that has begun to grow a bit scale. Some parts of this album remind me of old classic rock acts like Creedence Clearwater Revival, and I think that this band has the possibility to affect people like that band did. I know it seems a bit arrogant and far fetched, but Fucked Up have created a masterpiece that is a bit hard to swallow but needs to be heard.

PA Hardcore

Kevin Hare