Glass Boys - MATADOR
FILTER Grade: 80%
By Marty Sartini Garner on June 16, 2014
Since 2008’s The Chemistry of Common Life, it’s been impossible to talk about Fucked Up without also talking about the Toronto band’s relationship to hardcore. The musical inventiveness of Common Life and its follow-up, 2011’s David Comes to Life, pushed the genre’s boundaries so far that singer Damian Abraham’s basement-floor bellow became the only sound anchoring them to their birthplace. The transformation is so complete, and the group sounded so alive on David, that Glass Boys could have been the first Fucked Up record to breathe in its own environment. But as he surveys the ground covered, Pink Eyes turns introspective. There are no all-together-now gang shouts, and few of the over-the-top song structures that previously made you think Fucked Up were fighting The Boss out on Yonge Street. Abraham stays inside, needling the space between his hardcore birth and his broad-audience adulthood, and the band largely close in around him. They open it up a bit on the album’s second half, particularly on the J Mascis–assisted “Led By Hand” and the massive “DET.” But the record’s major achievement is in stretching the genre again, this time by contraction: This is meditative hardcore.