Canadian Music Corner: F*cked Up & Said the Whale

Brendan Kergin, Arts & Entertainment Editor Ω

F*cked Up

F*cked Up might have a controversial name, but they’ve earned praise from pretty much every serious music critic over the past few years.

The six-piece group from Toronto has a fairly straight-forward set-up; a couple guitarists, drummer, bassist and lead vocalists. There are some female vocals sometimes too.

But, no, it’s not just that. It’s F*cked Up. It’s melodic hardcore-punk with epic metal moments and visceral screaming. It’s rough and ragged mostly, but they’re unafraid to try something new, from soft intros to something that kind of sounds tribal.

It’s curated chaos, based around the aforementioned hardcore base, but more evolved.

The style has taken them places, winning the 2009 Polaris Prize and nominated for this year’s prize (to be announced Sept. 24). With that success it’s a little surprising their haven’t been any notable copy cats, but it’s probably a difficult recipe to recreate.

Lead singer Damian Abrahams rips into every lyric and in live shows throws himself around like a maniac. The band had a TV performance cut short because they destroyed the bathroom they were playing in. These are crazy, interesting, talented people.

For a track recommendation, check out “No Epiphany” off of The Chemistry of Common Life.

Taylor Rocca, Copy/Web Editor Ω

Said the Whale

Said the Whale hails from Vancouver, B.C. and while it brings its own unique indie-folk sound to the table, the music often bears a strong resemblance to that of fellow Canadian indie-rockers, The Rural Alberta Advantage.

The band has been wooing audiences since 2007, having released four full-length studio albums alongside four EPs.

Little Mountain is the most recent release from the five-piece West Coast-group and it features the tracks “Lucky,” “We Are 1980” and “Loveless.”

While not necessarily the most groundbreaking or profound indie group to make its way into the Canadian music scene, Said the Whale gets by with catchy lyrics and hooks strung alongside a fun guitar track and foot-tapping set of percussion.

Like The Rural Alberta Advantage, Said the Whale has a tendency to reference Canadian landmarks and geographical locations. For those familiar with the destinations being bandied about through song lyrics and titles, this can give an added pleasure to the listening experience.

Specific tracks bursting with Canadiana include “Holly Lake, Ontario,” “Out on the Shield,” “Emerald Lake, AB” and “B.C. Orienteering,” all of which appear on 2009’s Islands Disappear.

Said the Whale wrapped their Canadian tour in Fredericton, N.B. on Sept. 15 and have an American roadtrip in the works for the upcoming fall.