Jellicoe and Woodbury - Doubt/Fear [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Jellicoe and Woodbury

Doubt/Fear [7-inch] (2018)

Quality Control HQ

Just as David travels back in time over the course of Dose Your Dreams, Fucked Up themselves warp back with the release of the Jellicoe & Woodbury 7-inch, “Fear.” Now, the band has not explciityl stated that they are J W, but the obvious clues are there: “Davi D’ Eliade” handles “orchestration” and Jonah Falco nom-de-plume the “Mad Man” “oversees” the procession. Not to mention, the new Fucked Up smiley face is drawn on the sleeve.

While Fucked Up might now be a sprawling space-punk-rock band that plays the sax and has techno beats, they started out as straight up hardcore bashers and that’s what these two especially nasty tracks are. With a pinch more Scandinavian murk and Japanese hardcore distortion, the track is a bit messier sounding than the band’s earliest tight releases. Where tracks collected on Epics in Minutes were often built around a pop skeleton so that they snapped off at the end following a crescendo, “Fear” and “Doubt” here are wetter and are in a state of constant combustion.

Tellingly, it does not appear that usual Fucked vocalist Damian Abraham is on the track. The singer here has a gritty voice, bet less of Abraham’s roar and more of a bloody shout. Maybe it’s original FU singer Chris Colohan? Maybe it’s Falco himself? Did David materialize from the ether? Who’s to say, but just as the band swathed themselves in mystery and misdirection on the earliest releases, they do the same thing here, refusing to even acknowledge just what this release is.

It’s a lot of fun of course. But, just because the band is having fun here, it also ties back to one of the heavier concepts of Dreams. FU mastermind has referenced the fact that commercialism and capitalism drive people away from their own dreams, and as the band explains here, Joyce’s attack dogs Jellicoe and Woodbury are “self-created monsters use capitalism to keep us afraid to really move forward in life, and scared to connect with each other. They chase us back and 'breath down our neck.’”

Funny that the band references Joyce’s work. Joyce was a pioneer of modern symbolism and twisting classical symbolism, as was he known for dropping hints, clues, and deep meaning into nearly impenetrable work. Dreams isn’t impenetrable, but it is massive like Ulysses and it would take years to turn every knob to see what all the gadgets in this album do- if that’s even possible. Like many great stand alone singles, this 7-inch helps elucidate a larger work all while adding a twist of its own. A key that has a lock installed in its own base is still a key to something else.