Do you crave emotion? Do you crave pain? Wanna feel fucked?
Fucked Up's Epics in Minutes runs the gamut of likability, as on this massive 21-track album there is a perfect album, then there is an utter mess. One now knows that fucking can be great and fucking can be painful.
In the liner notes, the band states: "This is the closest that there will ever be to a Fucked Up retrospective." The album is made of songs that came out before 2004. As with any good retro, it shows the band's growth from a much lesser, more ordinary band into the noisy behemoths they would become. However, due to the tracks that feature the band getting its feet wet, it also greatly mars an otherwise diamond, even leaving this writer wondering, "Can you polish a turd or rather smudge a diamond?" One has to wonder in these two disparate opposites in the quality held in Epics in Minutes.
It can't start any better than the hell-raising "Color of Removal" and the next song, "What Could've Been." These tracks may show exactly why Fucked Up has gotten away from its purely hardcore roots in subsequent albums (such as Hidden World and The Chemistry of Common Life). Simply, there probably was not much more room to grow. The music element in this song and just slightly less than half the rest of the album literally goes beyond words. Honestly, this writer believes it may be "the best" musicianship they have heard so far on a pure "hardcore punk" album.
There's also a two-part early version of their Hidden World staple, "Baiting the Public." Even broken up in two songs, it's slightly shorter. The song also is more standard hardcore, as in the production is not as embellished. However, it is still a perfect song anyway, sounding more direct and to the point, unlike the Hidden World version which seems to ramble a bit.
"Last Man Standing," "Litany," "A Light That Never Comes On," "Dance of Death" and "Ciut Radio Session" are the only less-than-awe-inspiring moments on the initial 13 songs, but still stampede and rattle like a bull in a porcelain shop. The other six not-yet-mentioned songs before the disastrous demo are utterly fantastic, impeccable even. Then it goes into the learn-and-grow early sessions. Ugh!
With a poor recording quality, which just amateurishly bashes and never plays, it's quite a disappointing ending to an otherwise stellar album.
First 13 songs: 4½/5
Songs 14-21: 0/5
Overall (and heavily weighted): 3½/5