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F***** Up Glass Boys (Matador)

It's tough being F***** Up.

The hardcore Toronto punksters, after 13 years ripping up guitars across the world, will always be dogged by that name. It's a screw-you statement of intent but also a marketing man's nightmare - and something screamo vocalist Damian Abraham admits is "a hindrance now that we want to be taken somewhat seriously''. Does this fifth album therefore reflect a band turning tame on us? No chance. Opener Echo Boomer runs with rabid wolves, while Touch Stone and Sun Glass are typical of a suffocating, disorientating claustrophobia of sound that pervades many of these brain-splatting tracks, providing just enough room for hooks to grab. The second half in particular satisfies the stomping visceral tendencies that will cause mayhem in the moshpit. DET is an uncompromising TNT behemoth of mangled guitars and primal voices, as is the savage and striking The Art Of Patrons. Then there's the mutiliated majesty of the title track, where even a dramatic tinkling piano climax sounds just right. Maturity? Pah.

Martin Williams

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