It's amazing that some original punkers either stray miles away from the sound and intent that gained them notoriety or simply put out the same records they always have decades after the fact, while Fucked Up (FU from here on out, pardon my decorum) show us how to grow up gracefully within the constraints of punk-- and this is only their first full album. While they've been more known for EPs and seven-inches until now, Hidden World is the work of a band that sounds much older and more assured than it should. But even as I type out punk, it doesn't quite fit: You could call it hardcore, as singer Pink Eyes chokes out every syllable like Negative Approach's John Brannon.
Clearly aiming for that all-important Radio Disney demographic, the full-length debut by experimental Toronto punks Fucked Up follows several years' worth of deliberately provocative singles and EPs. After a half-decade spent continually messing with the audience's heads by flirting with Nazi imagery in their record sleeves and interviews and deliberately introducing non-punk elements like 20-minute guitar jams on their previous records, Hidden World is a surprisingly "normal" record in comparison to some of their earlier provocations. Based in hardcore but with a heavily experimental bent that borrows strongly from psychedelia and Krautrock, as well as contemporary anarchist punk outfits like the Ex, Hidden World consists of 13 lengthy songs that mesh lead singer Pink Eyes' standard-issue hardcore bark of a voice and muddled anarchist lyrics to a twin-guitar attack that traffics mostly in dynamic Sonic Youth-style drones and brief spazz-outs of purely experimental noise.