Could this be? 4 Posts in a row without Scott? Has this happened before? Is this even a good thing? What’s that? I’m supposed to be writing a review about Fucked Up’s Hardcore/Punk Opera “David Comes to Life”? Yea I got that, its after the jump. (INSIDER TERMS) When I first think of “Hardcore” music I think of the word RAWR like that’s all I can understand or hear. So honestly I’m not even the biggest fan of this side of the “Punk” Genre. But when I heard about this album and saw all the rave reviews it was actually getting. I had to give it a listen and wouldn’t you know it these bastards pulled it off. (I GUESS I should explain that I’ll be splitting this review into 2 parts the story itself and the album.)
In the 80 minutes of “David Comes to Life”, Fucked Up actually tells a story about a man who has to battle not only the loss of the love of his life but also the narrator of the story who isn’t who he seems. In the 4 Acts you meet 4 characters, David, Octavio St. Laurent who is the narrator, Vivian David’s Ex, and Veronica who is the love interest.
Just from the very beginning I was taken aback, because instead of being hit in the face with yelling and screaming like I expected, it starts with a very cool sounding instrumental track. It kind of sets the tone for the multi-layered guitars you will hear throughout the entire album. And with the 2nd track “Queen of Hearts,” which is the most lighthearted and poppy of the entire album, we find out how Veronica and David meet. David is a factory worker in England in the late 1970s who is stuck in a rut and not thinking anything will ever change. Until he walks in to work one day and there is a protester who hands him a flyer that protester is Veronica and both of their lives change forever.
From that point on the story covers the tragedy of David losing Veronica (she dies but it’s not explained why until near the very end of the album). And during this loss David has to deal with the narrator who basically beats down on him until its revealed by his ex-girlfriend Vivian that the narrator is the one pulling the strings. AND THEN THINGS GET META (a phrase I really hate using but its true in this sense) Because now David realizes he is in some sort of play and has no control over the plot. The narrator is also blind to this as he sees himself as basically a god-like figure because whatever he says happens.
From there the two wrestle for control of the plot as David tries to break free of the narrators grasp to live out his own life. When it turns out that’s impossible David is near giving in until Vivian tells him that it was the Narrator who was the one who got Veronica killed. He was cast as the villain of this play and is just as much not in control of the plot as David is (I told you META).
And from there the story builds to the second to last track “One More Night” where David finally figures it all out and finally realizes that even though his time with Veronica was cut-short his life is better for knowing her (he’s visited by her ghost because what kind of opera or play would this be without something like that). And everything is resolved in the last track where he is older, wiser and ready to start over. And as he goes to start over, the CD ends with the same instrumental that opened it like the play itself is restarting (which I thought was pretty neat but I’m a sucker for shit like that).
All in all I really dug the story itself my only gripe was the singer plays all of the parts except Veronica, that’s sung by a female singer. The only reason i was bothered by this is it tends to get a little confusing about who is saying what basically. But that’s remedied by just looking at the lyrics (which like any opera or play is told from that specific persons perspective, its not a book so nothing is spelled out for you).
And I’m sure there are like a million different meanings to this story either as a critique of society or some kind of political statement but I just dug the story on a surface level. I mean if there is that’s cool too.
This being my first introduction to the band I can’t exactly compare this to any of their other albums, so I won’t be saying crap like “oh they have really grown as musicians.” All I know is from front to back the music is great, I’m more into the uptempo of punk music anyway this is just a little harder. The vocals took me some time to get used to but by the end of the CD it was yelling along with it.
And since I know that NO ONE who writes for this blog will like this album I did this for selfish reasons (specifically, actually post something that doesn’t have something to do with ants). But dammit this album is damn good, it rocks, has a cool story behind it and as far as the punk genre is concerned its damn ballsy.
9.0 out of 10 (I wanted to make small little pictures of myself and go “this gets 4.5 Conmans out of 5!” but i decided to just stick with the standard scoring AH FUCK IT:
GOOD NIGHT EVERYBODY!