On Couple Tracks, there are but a scant few traces of the genre-busting, post-hardcore blast which dominated Fucked Up’s last full length, Chemistry of Common Life. Instead, this collection of singles, b-sides, and rarities draws mainly from the days when Fucked Up were a hardcore band free of hyphens and slashes, and those days when those singles, b-sides, and rarities were free of inflated e-Bay prices.
Still, to say many of the tracks featured here are of the 1-2-3-4 growl variety, isn’t the same as saying there’s nothing of interest here. “Triumph of Life” and “Black Hats” are two throbbing slabs of propulsive, five-minute punk. While Fucked Up’s playful side (A side of the band which is too often overlooked) takes center stage when they cover twee pop classics by the likes of the Shop Assistants (“I Don’t Wanna Be Friends With You”), Another Sunny Day (“Anorak City”), and Dolly Mixture (“Dream Come True.”) If you think this means Fucked Up has gone soft. Think again. Damian Abraham didn’t alter his throaty yowl one bit. It’s rough even when it’s twee. Then, there’s the radical reconstructions of Fucked Up tracks from the band’s Daytrotter Session. The astro-funk-punk version of “David Comes to Life” furthers the genre-busting efforts of Chemistry of Common Life, if that’s even possible for a band who’ve recorded near 20-minute progressive punk pieces. Add it all together and you not only save over $100 on the eBay price from buying each single separately, but you also get the peace of mind from knowing you’re directly supporting the act and not some collector scum making money off of your insatiable desire for punk rock 7″s. 6 out of 10 on The Rockometer.