Crazy world we live in, ain’t it? When the most ambitious work of the year comes from a hardcore group with an unprintable name fleshing out the components of a concept album through the growls of a 300-pound bald guy named Pink Eyes. A tale of a light bulb factory worker put on trial for the possible killing of his girlfriend, with all the twists and turns of any crime novel sitting on the shelves of the Walgreens stationary section nearest you. And it’s not even a hardcore record, really; Fucked Up have progressed thus far as to have adopted a sound of robust indie rock guitars juxtaposed with harsh scowls, which results in an arguably more unsettling listening experience.
But it slays, through and through. You could take yourself out of the storyline entirely and find every track of David Comes to Life invigorating. You’ll scream back at Pink Eyes as he introduces the main character with a rousing, “Hello my name is David!” in “Queen of Hearts” and marvel at the talk of shoe droppings and trust dilemmas. Your contempt will build with Pink Eyes’s in “Turn of the Season” as he screams, “Dying on the inside!” over the callous monotony of two stubborn guitar chords. You’ll be moved by the finale, “Lights Go Up”. Storyline notwithstanding, the track will feel like an all-encompassing closer to an excellent record. When the instrumentation fades, leaving only Pink Eyes to holler into the abyss, at least something will have felt completed.
If you want to hear music that is intelligent as well as gripping, the concept of David Comes to Life will always be there, and it is as genuinely interesting of an execution as you’re bound to find. You’ve got different characters voiced by different people and a theatrical flow that will engross to the very end. As for me, I’m just astounded at how David Comes to Life just keeps going, pummeling relentlessly and somehow always managing to sound fresh and intuitive. The album is brilliant and great fun. It will keep you guessing, whether you’re following along with a lyrics sheet or not.