Throughout their three decades of existence, Fucked Up haven’t built up a reputation for doing things on a small scale. From enormous concept albums to twelve-hour performances, it’s obvious they like to take their time. As a result, the latest album One Day, the shortest record they have ever released, comes as somewhat of a surprise. As the title alludes, it was written and recorded within a twenty-four-hour period. Given the fact it was created so quickly, the outcome is an amazing success that doesn’t feel like it was made in any form of rush.
Guitarist Mike Haliechuk came up with the idea in late 2019, stating “I wanted to see what I could record in literally one day.” However, the album was put on hold due to the lockdowns of 2020, although the break did prove beneficial with Abraham contributing lyrics for the first time since the 2014 release of Glass Boys.
The first track ‘Found’ opens the album on a driving, ferocious note, providing a critique of Canadian colonialism bolstered by the first of several anthemic choruses on the album. Vocalist Damian Abraham ruminates, “There I stood on the shore of a story we don’t tell anymore, All the names were erased, Buried under a land that my people stole”.
The first of many stylistic changes comes on ‘I Think I Might Be Weird’ with a less confrontational tone being taken and a more laidback guitar riff driving the song on comfortably. While, ‘Lords of Kensington’ provides one of the standout moments on the album, the song teaming catchy guitar riffs with a memorable chorus, in which Abraham takes aim at gentrification.
The shortest song on the record, ‘Broken Little Boys’ further demonstrates the guitar talents of Haliechuk and Josh Zucker, frequently combining with the intensity of Jonah Falcao’s drums.
Towards the end of the record, Haliechuk takes lead vocal duties on the moving ‘Cicada’, which, in his words, “is about what life is like when you lose people”. Emotive lines such as, “I’ll remember you my friend, Your song will never end” and “You left too soon, but you left us so much” underpin the song’s poignant message. Across the record there is a blend of emotion with musical technicality, which Falco attributes to how the record is, “about how we see time passing in our lives.” A theme evidenced in closer ‘Roar’, during which Abraham contemplates the anxieties of parenthood.
Despite the timeframe in which it was conceived, One Day proves to be a concise, well-written and finely produced album that provides plenty of turns despite being comprised of just ten tracks. Excellent musicianship combines with heartfelt lyricism to offer, perhaps, Fucked Up’s finest effort yet, certainly their most focused. When discussing the recording process, Haliechuk stated, “If you work on something for one day, it can end up being really special.” One Day is, without doubt, a really special record.