If Oberon hasn’t made its way into your ears yet, then you are the one who fucked up.

Release date: October 7, 2022 | Tankcrimes Records | Facebook | Bandcamp | Website

Fucked Up are a special breed of hardcore, one that has been (and continues to be) widely underappreciated to this very day. They refuse to put out the same album twice, as each effort shows them proceeding forward with a new artistic vision that expands upon what they’ve previously done. Despite all that, each song of theirs that you’ll ever listen to has that trademark Fucked Up sound that is unmistakably their own. With their newest effort, the Oberon EP, that streak continues, but exists rather as a brief experimentation with a sound we’ve been hopelessly waiting for them to fully dive into.

While their sound falls under the hardcore umbrella as a whole, they’ve been known to go far and wide to incorporate all sorts of sounds and styles into their music. Their latest effort, Year of the Horse, is a perfect example of their extreme ambition with the creation of a highly cinematic hardcore rock opera; a highly ambitious and triumphantly executed masterpiece. For the most part, their sound (instrumentally) is rooted in both indie rock and punk, but they get their hardcore edge mainly due to Damian Abraham’s iconic harsh vocal style that is as abrasive and grotesque as possibly can be whilst still being very easy to understand. More often than not, those two things are mutually exclusive, but Fucked Up possess the ability to defy all odds.

Sprinkled tastefully throughout their previous works thus far, the heavier sludgy moments that the band has made clear that they are fully capable of get the spotlight entirely on Oberon. This short and savage EP is a feeler-of-sorts that didn’t require the full effort that their theatrical, narrative-driven albums demand and allows the band to raise sonic hell in a way that is different from what they’re used to. For those wanting to fully indulge in the savagery that Fucked Up show glints of from time to time, your dreams have finally come true. Now the real question is whether or not a full-length in a similar style will follow suit.

From the moment Oberon kicks off with the title track, you become quickly immersed in this villainous, riffy backdrop that makes you feel as if you’re spectating the maniacal plotting and accruing of resources of some evil entity, as depicted in the vibrant album artwork. You can still hear the quirky personality Fucked Up possess bleeding through these blistering tracks, most notably on “Oberon” with its tiptoeing riffs and on “Strix” with its bone-chilling synth work. The closing track, a cover of Saint-Saens‘ “The Aquarium”, is a diabolically sinister way to close out the EP, as it allows me to envision the unraveling of our token villain’s scheme fully coming to fruition. There is no rest for the wicked.

Oberon shows Fucked Up as heinous as ever, as they tread familiar ground and finally fully commit to delivering a ruthless display of pure savagery; call it auditory filth, if you will. These pummeling tracks bring their sludgy tastiness into the spotlight, leaving you wondering why it took this long for them to release something along these lines in the first place. Oberon makes for a utterly satisfying palate cleanser that refreshes your mind, only enticing you to give a full run through their girthy discography yet again. While I am more partial to the highly dynamic and constantly evolving ‘Broadway musical-meets-hardcore’ à la Year of the Horse, there is no denying that Fucked Up do fuck, and they do so quite hard indeed on Oberon.

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