Fucked Up’s fifth studio album arrives billed as their ‘Screamadelica’, an accolade presented by Canadian multi-instrumentalist and contributor Owen Pallett in reference to Primal Scream’s 1991 commercial breakthrough. Yet commercial viability is far from the forefront of ‘Dose Your Dreams’, an epic double album that reaches way beyond an hour in running time. Instead, it’s the vast musical influences and experimentation that incite the comparison; ‘Screamadelica’ borrowing heavily from the electronic music scene it was born into, and ‘Dose Your Dreams’ a frantic, angry and vast reaction to the state of the world today.
Already renowned as one of the most innovative hardcore punk collectives around, ‘Dose Your Dreams’ serves to cement Fucked Up’s rightful place as genre pioneers, reaching further out into a multitude of sounds and styles than ever before. Album opener ‘None Of Your Business Man’ begins with delicate piano tinkering and explodes into a ferocious barrage that dominates much of the record. Brilliantly crafted and arguably needed respite is provided at key moments: the haunting single ‘Normal People’ turns down the tempo, and the brilliant ‘Came Down Wrong’ ends the perfectly challenging audible assault of ‘Mechanical Bull’ and ‘Accelerate’. The latter opens with wailing guitars before venturing into full industrial territory that would make Nine Inch Nails squirm.
‘Dose Your Dreams’ is jarring. It’s powerfully confronting, unashamedly angry, unrelenting and it’s long. Yet throughout, the band’s mastery guides the album. The ebb and flow, often squeezed into the running time of a single track, is as beautiful as it is disarming. The band’s reluctance to settle on a sound is enticing rather than distracting. There are no records that sound like ‘Dose Your Dreams’, and no band that sounds this Fucked Up.