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Wednesday September 17th 2014

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Ears & Fingers 6/5/14

F**ked Up-Glass Boys
F**ked Up are a Canadian five-piece who efficiently mold together music genres and have garnered a reputation for leaving crowds and venues understanding the reasoning behind their band name. The band seems to function at its strongest while existing within tension, and with new album “Glass Boys,” tension is at the epicenter of every element. Starting with branding the LP with a title that exudes fragility and cover art that exemplifies the Greek ideals of grace and beauty, while exploring themes of disbelief, anger and darkness with ferocity that’s unmatched in much of the indie rock world, “Glass Boys” brings discomfort to the surface. The band seamlessly intertwines discordant indie pop-rock with a vocalist who looks and sounds like he could be fronting Biohazard, and it just works.

“Glass Boys” has been gaining steam since earlier this year on the back of three strong singles, ‘Paper the House,’ ‘Led by Hand’ and most recently, ‘Sun Glass.’ When I first caught wind of the impending album, I was excited for a couple of reasons. Primarily because the band went on hiatus in 2011 to settle a lot of personal matters following their masterful album “David Comes to Life.” The news also raised a few questions for me: How does a band take two years off and expect to follow up an album as critically acclaimed as “David Comes to Life”? Would they be able to pick up with the same amount of steam they walked away with? Will they tour within a five-hour drive? These questions have yet to be answered, but as far as the follow up to “David” goes, the drama, genius and approach behind “Glass Boys” is more than enough to appease their fans and calm our fears of the band being quiet on a permanent basis any time soon. It is with a clear conscience that I can absolutely say F**ked Up are one of the most important bands on the radar right now. From the opening beeps of ‘Echo Boomer’ to the sudden repose of the title track, “Glass Boys” is their urgent letter of apology for being gone. “Glass Boys” is out now via Matador Records.

Parquet Courts-Sunbathing Animal
Parquet Courts are anything but easily definable. Within a broad scope, feverish indie punk will do in a pinch, but the band are so fluid, so nuanced that pinning them down is not a simple task. This was a fact on 2012’s “Light up Gold,” and it becomes more confounding on “Sunbathing Animal,” the band’s third LP. There has been pressure placed on Parquet Courts because of the cult-hit status of “Light up Gold,” and “Sunbathing Animal” does not disappoint. If you listen closely, hints of Brit-rock, R&B, blues and the obvious hardcore punk rise to the surface. While I didn’t like the title track on first listen, the singles that followed, ‘Black & White’ and ‘Instant Disassembly,’ hooked me in a big way, and hearing the whole album for the first time really made it all make sense. If you want to add some discord to your summer playlist, I would recommend checking out Parquet Courts. “Sunbathing Animal” is out now via What’s Your Rupture/Mom + Pop Records.

Track of the Week: JAWS-Be Slowly
Recently, bands from the UK have been capturing my attention left and right. JAWS straddle a fence narrowly separating new wave from ‘90s rock with distinct precision. Their debut album, “Be Slowly,” is slated for release in September, but until then, check out the hazy title track on their Soundcloud page.