Monday, October 25th, 2010

Fucked Up – Year of the Ox

The video version of this is ruddy awesome, plus it’s only 11 minutes long…



[Video][Website]
[5.10]

Jonathan Bogart: When I first saw this song in a playlist, I muttered to myself that it better be the best fucking song in the world to be worth 13 minutes. It’s not.
[3]

Doug Robertson: It just goes “derl derl dearl derl derl derl dearl” over and over again, while getting a bit shoutier before throwing in some strings for good measure. The last four minutes deviate slightly from the template, but only in as much as an oblate spheroid differs from an actual sphere.
[4]

Chuck Eddy: You know, if you’re gonna do a 13-minute “single” this repetitive, it helps to have rhythm guys who can actually lay down some Kraut-like semblance of a drone, if not an actual groove. Also a singer who can do more than croak and bark. And a guitarist whose idea of rocking out isn’t staring at his shoes. I mean, I appreciate that this band seems more ambitious, on paper, than your typical hardcore or noise dumbshits, and don’t even mind that their front fatso’s flab rolls like a bowl full of jelly on stage — didn’t hate them when I saw them at SXSW this spring. But sorry, nothing whatsofriggingever happens in this track until just about the halfway point, when the horns (or whatever) come in, and then the female vocal counterpoint follows around the nine-minute mark. And even those aren’t interesting, beyond the mere fact that they exist. Am I supposed to give it bonus points just for longevity, or what?
[3]

Martin Skidmore: Perhaps it’s like Napalm Death if you gave them loads of tranquilisers.
[4]

Mallory O’Donnell: Three minutes worth of musical ideas spread across a near quarter-hour of actual listening time appended to a vocal shat out by Ian MacKaye in ’86 whilst he waited in line for a Boca burger. Also apparently sued Camel alongside legendary asshole Xiu Xiu for giving the offended parties… free press. Seriously, dude?
[2]

Alfred Soto: The band’s Wikipedia page is even longer than the track length, and more fascinating (did you know that they sued Rolling Stone? that they sang on a 2009 remake of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”?). Local phenomenon — local ephemera too, past the six-minute mark.
[5]

Zach Lyon: You know, the first nine minutes of this are actually pretty good. Cut down the intro, shave a couple minutes off the screamy disyllabic section and end it a bit sooner, and you end up with a nice six-minute pseudo-hardcore track. I’m surprised by how often I’ve been coming back to it, but I do like the aesthetic of dude’s voice next to the sheer bliss of those power chord progressions. And the string interlude is wonderful. Unfortunately, they were insistent on turning some nice sounds into what I guess is an attempt at a modern Marquee Moon. The result, as a whole, sounds much more lifeless and strained than it should, and for all the punk posturing it still put my girlfriend to sleep after three minutes. I’m a good picker-and-chooser though, so I’m glad I got the chance to skip to the nice parts.
[7]

Jer Fairall: Even more so than The Chemistry of Common Life, “Year of the Ox” displays a sonic richness that, as an outsider, I can only assume is unusual for this genre; if anything, the song’s ambitious length, wisely understated orchestral flourishes and well-paced sense of forward momentum remind me happily of Husker Du circa Zen Arcade. Truth be told, it’s only the barking vocals that are keeping me from wholly embracing this (Bob Mould, though occasionally hysterical, was generally coherent), but I understand that such things come with the territory. A genuinely impressive track, overall.
[7]

John Seroff: Epic Lear-on-the-heath raging over a theme that takes a licking and keeps on blaring, “Year of the Ox” runs sandwiched parallel between absurdity and brilliance. Fucked Up’s full-throated devotion and fearless commitment see it through. Something melodic, gem-like and true is at the heart here; damned if I know what it is, but maybe another fifteen minutes in the pit will make it clearer. Couldn’t hurt. Well, it could. But I don’t mind.
[8]

Anthony Easton: Like being gored to death by a sexy bear.
[8]

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