Originally released October 7th, 2008, ‘The Chemistry of Common Life’ is the second album by Toronto punk band Fucked Up.
Today, we celebrate the record’s 15th anniversary with the promise of a fresh-looking orange vinyl reissue due out February 23rd. Pre-order it HERE.
The band has also completed a new video for the song “Black Albino Bones,” which is assembled from era-appropriate tour photos, videos, and ephemera.
And, finally, Matador’s hardworking archivists have unearthed a never-before-seen 30-minute clip from ‘The Chemistry of Common Life’s still-much-discussed 12-hour-long NYC record release show – an event that somehow roped-in members of The Vivian Girls, Vampire Weekend, and The Cro-Mags, as well as J. Mascis and, very briefly, Michael Stipe.
Today, ‘The Chemistry of Common Life’ remains as conceptually ambitious as it is musically adventurous, pushing through and far beyond the accepted boundaries of punk and hardcore. At the time, we called it “an expansive epic about the mysteries of birth, death, and the origins of life (and re-living). Merging elements of hardcore songwriting with up to 70 tracks of guitars, organs, winds and vocals the music remains iconoclastic and startling.”
Fucked Up drummer Jonah Falco writes:
“After Hidden World it felt like all of the musical impulses of Fucked Up condensed and turned into this musical dew, which inexplicably settled in this heavier, condensed place. The layering became way more intentional and focused, and instead of just making things long for the sake of being long, dense for the sake of being dense, the length and weight of our songs was necessary to house new found compositional moves. Development, tension, narrative, and space in song.
In some ways it felt like mockery – putting bongos on ‘Crooked Head’ and French horn on ‘Days of Last,’ ‘Royal Swan’ having about 1% punk involved, etc. – but in other ways opened the door for us moving forward to give these outlying ideas about our music precedence in our songwriting. Chemistry was unchained and free creativity from inexperienced and raw, but demanding and developing musicians.”
Next week, Fucked Up will play a special one-off show, performing ‘The Chemistry of Common Life’ in its entirety at Toronto’s Horshoe Tavern.
The group will also tour throughout North America, the UK, and the EU this fall, with appearances at Pitchfork Music Festival in London and the Primava Weekender in Benidorm.
Find the complete itinerary below.
- 14.10.23 – Toronto, ON @ The Horseshoe Tavern
- 25.10.23 – Silver Spring, MD @ The Fillmore
- 26.10.23 – Stroudsburg, PA @ The Sherman Theater
- 27.10.23 – Asbury Park, NJ @ Stone Pony
- 28.10.23 – Richmond, VA @ Richmond Music Hall
- 29.10.23 – Philadelphia, PA @ Brooklyn Bown
- 30.10.23 – Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw
- 31.10.23 – New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
- 10.11.23 – Leeds, UK @ Temple of Boom
- 11.11.23 – London, UK @ Pitchfork Music Festival
- 12.11.23 – Bournemouth, UK @The Bear Cave
- 13.11.23 – Lille, FR @ L’Aeronef (Club Room)
- 14.11.23 – Paris, FR @ Petit Bain
- 15.11.23 – Reims, FR @ La Cartonnerie
- 17.11.23 – Benidorm, ES @ Primavera Weekender
- 18.11.23 – Malaga, ES @ Paris 15
- 19.11.23 – Barcelona, ES @ La Nau
- 21.11.23 – Milan, IT @ Legend
- 22.11.23 – Wiesbaden, DE @ Kesselhaus
- 23.11.23 – Cologne, DE @ MTC