Toronto hardcore legends Fucked Up are known for sprawling epics of albums. So for fans of the group, it may come as a surprise that their latest offering, One Day, is their shortest yet. Despite this, Fucked Up’s newest album is as densely packed and energetically urgent as ever.
One Day was recorded within the constraints of just 24 hours, and yet it never feels like a rush job in the slightest. Each track has a clear intention which is executed to the extreme, with thrilling performances from the entire band: Damian Abraham (vocals), Mike Haliechuk (guitar, vocals), Josh Zucker (guitar), Sandy Miranda (bass), and Jonah Falco (drums, vocals).
The album features countless moments of transition between conventional hardcore and more progressive sensibilities. From glam rock to math rock, emo to alternative, there’s a little bit of everything here. A great example of this adventurous mishmash is “Lords of Kensington,” a poignant song discussing gentrification in the band’s native Toronto that is emblematic of the spontaneous, freeform, yet refined and thematic nature of the album as a whole.
There’s something about One Day that feels desperate in its need to share its message. Despite the heavy tones, aggressively ragged vocals, and overbearing percussion, each track carries its own distinct sensitivities—chinks in the armour of the hardcore genre’s typical confidence, aggression, and machismo. Abraham’s vocals, complemented by One Day’s many jarringly captivating guitars and vocal harmonies, exhibit a rare sense of vulnerability that draws us closer, only to be blown away by one of Fucked Up’s hallmark, face-melting, instrumental breaks.
Beauty, pain, love, rage, sorrow, and surprisingly, joy all run abound on One Day. While not every song is a masterpiece, the album features so many downright barnburners (“Cicada,” “One Day,” and “Roar” spring to mind) that will make you want to start fires, flip cop cars, and give your mom a hug.
One Day is a triumph and a testament to the creative power of Fucked Up’s members. The world is a frightening, fallacious, funny, Fucked Up place, but One Day is our vitally violent reminder that nothing—whether good, bad, or somewhere in the ambivalent in-between—is immortal.