• Record Label: Matador
  • Release Date: Oct 7, 2008

Universal acclaim - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. The Chemistry of Common Life, is a lush, expansive masterpiece that dismisses the theory that punkers have to follow a concrete formula of short and fast songs with raw-edged production.
  2. The Chemistry of Common Life is made by an expansive search party of scalpels, each handled with surgical precision. And together, they make a pretty deep cut.
  3. It might seem counterintuitive to call Chemistry a grower: From the first listen, it's both pummeling and riveting.
  4. 80
    The sextet's second effort is both an expression of their anarcho-punk fury and a declarartion of straight-edge commitment, but it's also a radical redrawing of hardcore's boundaries, that reanimates the genre with an aggressively intelligent jolt. [Nov 2008, p.96]
  5. With shards of melody poking through the noise, the overall effect is often stunning. [Nov 2008, p.117]
  6. 80
    The music is sneakily sophisticated, buoyed on a mesh of relentless guitar tracks and driven by motorik drums toward a golden pyschpunk horizon. [Nov 2008, p.106]
  7. The Chemistry Of Common Life finally proves that rather than being a messy gimmick, Fucked Up are a startlingly talented punk rock band.
  8. Using near progressive structures as placeholders for hardcore songs, Fucked Up has no equal in the punk scene. An astounding album. [Fall 2008, p.86]
  9. They are like nothing you've ever heard before and everything you one day hoped you would, too strong for the charts and too corrupting for MTV.
  10. While it's offset on a few songs by "clean" female vocals, Damian Abraham's glass-gargling roar remains the primary source of Fucked Up's visceral energy. From this point on, it'll be more exciting to see how much farther beyond gut-level the band is willing to go.
  11. Truth be told the record is hard to quantify - it's so dense and layered that attempting to describe why it works just makes it seem contrived, while it's success should measured by the fact that it sounds anything but.
  12. 80
    Abraham's broken-glass belloiw is often matched with folk-siren backup vocals that disorient more than they soothe. Multi-tracks thicken and slur the guitar riffs, heightening both the tension and complexity. [Nov 2008, p.102]
  13. Fucked Up aren't the easiest band to like, but they're worth the effort. [Nov 2008, p.156]
  14. Despite a surprisingly visceral first listen, Chemistry reveals itself to be expertly crafted record with hidden subtleties at every turn.
  15. This is music at its most carnal.
  16. There’s a reason why this Toronto band is capturing the imagination of critics and fans all over the world: they’ve reinvigorated the form and stretched its limits in genuinely novel ways, and for the most part their experiments actually hit their mark.
  17. Chemistry is a natural and seamless masterpiece that might never have happened but for the band's own need to thumb its nose at expectations.
  18. Chemistry may represent an attempt to marshal these influences into a massive, unified sound. Alternately, it could be the sound of Fucked Up fucking around with a big budget in a studio and seeing who might be duped into believing it genuine. Indeed, who will listen to this record?
  19. The Chemistry of Common Life is not a technically proficient album despite its epic leanings. Like most albums primarily consisting of anthems, its impact tapers off slightly on repeated listens. But the sheer power of the album is key.
  20. 80
    Here, they combine hardcore punk’s combat-boot side with its tortured-noise side, layering what sounds like scores of tsunami-distortion guitars over an atomic-speed drum blitz to attain rarely witnessed levels of obliteration (think Black Flag reincarnated as psychotic yetis).
  21. There’s some talent behind these songs; there isn’t a single instrumental dud on The Chemistry of Common Life. But while the instrumentals leave room for some kind of epic lyrics from the right lyricist and singer, Abraham is neither of those things.
  22. Whatever shortcomings The Chemistry Of Common Life present, and there are very few, Fucked Up cancels them out with some imagination and a refusal to so easily fit into the Mallternative crowd.
  23. This is third wave hardcore, and it's a return to form, where commentary rules and violence and ignorance won't be tolerated.
  24. So this album--its best, and indicative of a band that can keep climbing--contains two great punk songs: 'Days of Last,' with an echoed guitar line, and 'Crooked Head,' based on a 12-beat drum rhythm.
  25. Whether forsaken or not, Fucked Up certainly do a fine job of making the political sound personal--a victory in itself when taken with a sonic ferocity so broad in its range and wide in scope.
  26. In the end, Fucked Up aren't nearly as good as Refused were thought to be, but hey, Refused aren't even as good as they were supposed to be, so Fucked Up may yet be remembered as revolutionary.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 20 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. JasonB
    Jun 2, 2009
    While the term "artistry" is rarely used in conjunction with "hardcore" or "punk rock," now is such a time. This band defies classification, While the term "artistry" is rarely used in conjunction with "hardcore" or "punk rock," now is such a time. This band defies classification, and perhaps these labels just don't apply to anything other than the circles they run in. The layers of sound, the depth of the composition, the intensity of this album leave nothing to be desired. While something of this vein might not appeal to me normally, the artistry of this album insist attention to be paid. I sat and I listened. It was an hour well spent. Full Review »
  2. Aug 22, 2012
    **** Up are a once in a generation band. The Chemistry Of Common Life is a great album. It's heavy, melodic, hardcore all wrapped up nice in a**** Up are a once in a generation band. The Chemistry Of Common Life is a great album. It's heavy, melodic, hardcore all wrapped up nice in a canadian punk band. Damian Abraham's vocals are so abrasive, an acquired taste. Not everyone's cup of tea but if you're a hardcore punk fan (such as I), you should be inclined to listen to this album. "Crooked Teeth" sums up the band in that one song. All In All, incredible experimental punk band. Great album. B+ Full Review »
  3. Dec 30, 2011
    Just listen Its great