Fucked Up - Oberon [EP] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Fucked Up

Oberon [EP] (2022)


Hoooooooolyyyyyyy snappers!!! Usually, I try to maintain a sort of literary formality in my reviews but there’s no other way to say it- Oberon, Fucked Up’s latest EP, is a crusher. It is a slam-banger. It is a back breaker. It’s one of the best things that they’ve ever done. Sometimes you just gotta call a duck a duck. And this duck will fuck you up.

But, as with all things FU, this isn’t merely sonic damage for the sake of damage. There’s an intellectualism locked behind the power-smashing of the title track. The tune depicts Shakespeare’s Oberon as a sort of timeless astral force, much in the way Sleep used a cosmic-heaviness to worship weed. Various members of Fucked Up have previously written songs saluting mushrooms for its ability to make you trip, and in a sort roundabout way, the band tries to connect nature with metaphysics. It’s not so much a story as a portrait of Oberon, depicted as the link between nature and life. Fairies float around the old god (or primordial force) as he looks up at the moon, at once worshiping it himself and controlling its reflected rays. I mean that alone is pretty far-out. Meanwhile, the band supplies a slow, sludgy smash that again calls back to the intergalactic bands like Sleep, but also Sabbath, Integrity, and even Pink Floyd. I’ll admit it, I liked Fucked up when they are meaner and nastier as opposed to the, perhaps more celebrated, college/idie rock side of things. People like the college rock stuff because it is often high concept (See David Comes to Live), but this heavy duty dumptruck masher is as clever and high concept as the sweeter sounding stuff- perhaps moreso through its ambiguity. When stuff is this hard, this low, this thoughtful, and this genuine, it moves my soul.

On the rest of the release, the band continues the harder, literary tinged assault. “Strix” references the Greek bird of ill omen as it wreaks havoc upon mankind while the band charges forward with weight and speed. “Mashit” merges a Stranger Things synth into the band’s heavy sound worship while the closing track, “The Aquarium,” is the logical conclusion of the charge. The band covers the Camile Saint-Saens orchestral piece by coating it with an abstract sound collage that twists between colossal smashing and gauzy air. That is, much like Sleep is to Om, the band gets so heavy they push around the cycle back to lightness. Just as “Oberon” makes the point that all is one (I think), sonically, the band makes the thesis as well.

I usually try to have a cute or clever final line or two. I don’t have one here because this EP is amazing. Nuff said.