Fucked Up - Year of the Dog [12 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Fucked Up

Year of the Dog [12 inch] (2006)


Fucked Up caught a lot of fans of guard when they released Hidden World in 2006. It was an epic album with songs much longer and more layered than anything the extremely prolific band had released before. Even though it was a marked departure from most of their previous work, the Toronto band pulled it all off without alienating many fans. Really, the ones who did claim alienation just weren't paying attention.

Year of the Dog was released just months after Hidden World. It's the first in what the band promises to be a series of "Year"-themed 12 inches with Year of the Pig scheduled to be released sometime in 2007. Much like their pre-Hidden World output, Year of the Dog only contains two tracks, the title track and its B-side, "Last Man Standing."

The title track sounds as though it could have been included with Hidden World, opening with spoken-word and a drawn out instrumental intro that takes up nearly half the length of the song. When the intro finally comes to a close, the focus suddenly switches from wandering guitars and finely controlled chaos and moves towards pounding drums, chimes, and vocalist Pink Eye, whose voice, like much of the instruments on the album, sounds as though it is being recorded from a distance. Year of the Dog was recorded live and its seemingly deliberate underproduction plays off well, but it would have been interesting to see how it would have come off if it had been treated the same way as the songs on its companion full-length. The band has been playing it live recently and has promised fans that it would feature three guitars, organs, two drums, and a glockenspiel. That's likely the only way the band would be able to pull off the dense and complex song.

"Last Man Standing" is found on the B-side. It's an older song that was re-recorded for the 12 inch and stands in contrast to the title track in many ways. It picks up almost immediately and into faster and less complex structure than its counterpart. It's pretty much straight-up hardcore that stands just fine on its own and should appeal to fans of the band's older work as well as those who were only really able to get into Hidden World.

Fucked Up is one of the most interesting bands in modern hardcore, as well as one of the most prolific. As with many of their releases, this one will likely become highly collectable, so if you love hawking stuff on eBay, don't sleep on it. It's only available on vinyl, so if you don't have a record player you're going to have to download it somewhere.