Fucked Up : Couple Tracks

Polaris Prize-winning hardcore punks Fucked Up smushes all their seven-inches together into one ungainly compilation, tosses it at the 'normals', and sees what sticks. ...
6.9 Matador
2010 

Fucked Up : Couple Tracks

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No parent ever wishes that their child would grow up to be a hardcore punk. Thankfully nature has conspired to cure most of us of our desire to listen to or play this type of music by the time we’re able to vote. The hardcore scene is the briefest of pit stops on the way to jail, or law school (or both), which is just enough time to learn a few three-chord progressions, release a 7″, and call it a day.

What happens, then, when a hardcore band comes along with the staying power and notoriety to make a few modest inroads on a more mainstream audience? If you’re Fucked Up, you smush all those seven-inches together into one ungainly compilation, toss it at the ‘normals’, and see what sticks. Enter: Couple Tracks: Singles 2002-2009.

Ungainliness, however, is the downfall of all compilation records.  So it’s best to enjoy Couple Tracks for what it is: ‘Hardcore for Dummies’.  Fucked Up does a good job of chronicling the possibilities of the hardcore format to show how much diversity can be produced within fairly strict guidelines.  “Triumph of Life” begins with a Krautrock instrumental.  “Anorak City” rides the wave of surf rock with Ramones-overtones.  “David Comes to Life (Daytrotter Version)” trips out on psychedelic garage rock.  And the list goes on.

And on and on.  Clocking in at over an hour, Couple Tracks is more hardcore punk than most can handle in one sitting.  Without the excitement of the live show or the satisfaction of holding an obscure vinyl release in your hands, Fucked Up loses some of their allure.  It’s nice though to know that all those 7″ records can finally be found in one place.  Digging through stacks of vinyl in a greasy record shop is fun, but one compilation is a wiser fiscal option for the gutter punks among us who barely have enough cash to underwrite our meth and EZ-cheese budget.

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