Fucked Up - Couple Tracks : Singles 2002 - 2009
This 25 track, 2-disc compilation brings together some of the rarest output from Canadian punk rockers Fucked Up's arsenal alongside five unreleased tracks. Spanning their first 7” ‘No Pasaran’ in 2002 right up to a speedy version of ‘No Epiphany’ from 2009, the set has been assembled as a companion to 2004’s Epics In Minutes to bring together the best of the band’s singles output.
I was pretty late to the Fucked Up party: by the time I arrived the goldfish were all eaten and three (or was it four?) motorbikes were on the roof. So it’s great to be able to experience some of the finest moments from one of the most brutal, yet innovative punk rock bands in one package. With extensive sleeve notes detailing each track its clear this has been put together with a great deal of thought and affection. It’s not a quick cash in as the band grow in notoriety – more a document of history up to now.
Over the last few years they’ve gained more column inches in the music press outside of their native Canada and with a back catalogue as varied and 5-star studded as this it’s not hard to see why. Like many of the great punk bands before them they are a band with something to say: intelligent and politically motivated and not scared to put their views “out there”. Prepared to wear their colours on theirs sleeve and support deserving causes, their recent Christmas single (a cover of Band Aid’s ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’) gave its proceeds to charities supporting missing or murdered Aboriginal women across Canada.
They are blessed with the ability to entwine melody with malice. As in-your-face as Pink Eyes gets he’s not just smashing your head into the wall, there’s a nice tune to accompany the assault. ‘Neat Parts’ is a prime example of this: a b-side from 2006 (that most bands would sell limbs to have as an A-side)and as near a perfect two minutes that makes you want to dance and scream along. Across the whole compilation it’s impossible to distinguish B-side from A-side without reading the track listing. Quality control throughout their eight-year history seems to be impeccable.
The two discs are split into “The Hard Stuff” on Disc 1 and “The Fun Stuff” on Disc 2. Although across both discs they manage to combine hard and fun with relative ease. ‘He’s So Frisky’ is one of many highlights of the second disc. Taken from a self-released give-away at a Toronto show in 2006, it races along in a sparse 80 seconds as a Black Flag-fueled frenzy.
With a band this intense there is always the fear that taking in all twenty-five tracks in a single sitting would be a gargantuan undertaking, but this isn’t the case. Couple Tracks offers an incredibly good investment to fans looking to plug some gaps or newcomers looking to take their first steps into the Fucked Up world.