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Hidden World

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Album Review

Clearly aiming for that all-important Radio Disney demographic, the full-length debut by experimental Toronto punks F****d Up follows several years' worth of deliberately provocative singles and EPs. After a half-decade spent continually messing with the audience's heads by flirting with Nazi imagery in their record sleeves and interviews and deliberately introducing non-punk elements like 20-minute guitar jams on their previous records, Hidden World is a surprisingly "normal" record in comparison to some of their earlier provocations. Based in hardcore but with a heavily experimental bent that borrows strongly from psychedelia and Krautrock, as well as contemporary anarchist punk outfits like the Ex, Hidden World consists of 13 lengthy songs that mesh lead singer Pink Eyes' standard-issue hardcore bark of a voice and muddled anarchist lyrics to a twin-guitar attack that traffics mostly in dynamic Sonic Youth-style drones and brief spazz-outs of purely experimental noise. Somewhat unexpectedly, Hidden World makes an argument for F****d Up as part of the thriving Canadian post-rock scene, which the band has previously willfully ignored. Cameos by members of Final Fantasy, Alexisonfire, and the Arcade Fire (adding violin, acoustic guitar, keyboards, and backing vocals) contribute to this welcome cross-pollination. Enjoy it while you can, because previous history indicates that whatever F****d Up do next, it won't sound anything like Hidden World.


Formed: 2001 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

While Canadian punk provocateurs F****d Up play aggressive and incendiary music, that's hardly where their desire to stir up trouble begins and ends. The group strays far from the standard template of four-four punk stomp, incorporating extended instrumental workouts, unusual arrangements, and lengthy experimental passages along with the furious guitars and ranting vocals. While F****d Up have paid homage on record to pioneering anarchist movements and creative and political troublemakers of all...
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Hidden World, Fucked Up
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