Every Tuesday, Torontoist scours record store shelves in search of the city’s most notable new releases and brings you the best—or sometimes just the biggest—of what we’ve heard in Sound Advice.
The only way to get even a tiny piece of Fucked Up‘s shockingly abundant (and mostly really rare) discography is to spend your life and its earnings on eBay, trolling for piles of vinyl treasures, or, if you like life instead, you can dig into the beast that is Couple Tracks: Singles 2002-2009, out now on Matador Records. It’s a twenty-five-track compilation of those hard-to-find nuggets, alternate takes, and new stuff, too; it’s worth the wade through, as every track sounds as vital as the band proved to be in the era that the discs span.
Couple Tracks spans not only the past seven years of recordings, but the wide range of cross-appeal musical influence and aptitude that make Fucked Up one of the most interesting bands making music today. Some highlights include powerful examples of the band’s straight-up D.C. hardcore leanings (“Looking Back”, “Ban Violins”), the major-chord-laced indie-rock teasers (“Neat Parts”), and the wall-of-sound swirling psych of “No Epiphany” (streaming above), a faster version that’s an outtake from the sessions of 2008’s already-classic Chemistry of Common Life. It’s a dense history already for a band that—hopefully—still isn’t anywhere near the end of its shelf life.
From 2004, Epics in Minutes covered the band’s first four years of singles on its own twenty-one-track map (and with identically designed and photographed cover art, save new band members and, of course, more facial hair—just like the Beatles’ Red and Blue?) and with the release of Couple Tracks, long-time fans, completists, and post-Polaris converts can all take an equal crack at giving some order to the deliberate mayhem of Fucked Up’s still-growing recorded legacy.