Published Apr 11, 2014They might be three years off their mark, but Year of the Dragon, Fucked Up's sixth instalment in their Zodiac twelve-inch series, finds the group sounding more muscular and on-point than ever. Previous releases in the series have felt like attempts at flexing the band's creativity via collaboration: both Year of the Tiger and Year of the Ox were guest-heavy explorations of the outreaches of Fucked Up's sound. Dragon, however, sounds relatively conservative in comparison — on this outing, the band have opted to focus on what they can do between the five of them.
The title track, an 18-minute-long opus driven by a monstrous riff and one of Damian Abraham's best vocal performances, is the band playing to their strengths. Mike Haliechuk's guitar takes the lead, with Ben Cook and Josh Zucker following suit. The small guitarmy is supported by Sandy Miranda's bass and Jonah Falco's drumming, with the groovy interplay between the two becoming a highlight around the twelve-minute mark. With Dragon, Fucked Up have chosen to highlight their uncanny ability to bend time and make lengthy songs feel just as urgent and vital as their typical three-minute tirades. (Tankcrimes)