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CD review: Fucked Up's Glass Boys 

Matador; Release Date: June 3, 2014

Aging is crazy, parenting is crazy and finding yourself filling the roles you always raged against may be the craziest thing of all — particularly for punk rockers. The challenge is admitting your age while making music that's still raw, wild and honest.

The answer is in bands like Toronto's Fucked Up, whose new LP, Glass Boys, rumbles and churns with punk and hardcore intensity while wild man vocalist Damian Abraham hollers about very adult concerns. "Pretend the kids are strange / but it's me who has changed," he bellows on the title track.

For the fantastically thick textures and driving intensity — drummer Jonah Falco, in particular, shines throughout — this is a vulnerable record. In "Art of Patrons," Abraham hollers the ironic promise "one by one we will find a way to let each and every one down." Guitarist Mike Haliechuk's chords on that tune are surprisingly anthemic and bright — almost like a power ballad progression repurposed for rough-and-tumble postmodern punk. And at the end of "Warm Change," Haliechuk's fuzzy, 60s psych-tinted solo — rare on this album — offers a moment of euphoric reprieve before tearing back into the sticky, no-win situations of adult life.

Through excellent lyricism and world-class musicianship, this six-strong Canadian punk outfit tangles with tricky topics without once resorting to anything so basic as "get off my lawn!" mentality. On Glass Boys, Fucked Up is proof positive that punk doesn't have to burn out and die young — it can grow up and still be wild, wooly, and a little dangerous.

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