Year of the Pig
1. Year of the pig
2. The Black Hats
Starting in 2006, Fucked Up began putting out a pretty-much-yearly 12 inch single (with b-side) centered around the Chinese “Year of the ____” zodiac calendar. Starting with Year of the Dog, these annual releases usually go far beyond Fucked Up’s already bizarre musical purview, regularly resulting in long instrumental sections, 15+ minute tracks, and esoteric lyrical content. In other words, these zodiac releases are where Fucked Up, an already weird and enigmatic band, gets to be more bizarre than usual.
While some might find the above description less-than-favourable, I actually mean it in the most endearing way. These ‘Year of the...’ releases often result in some of the most interesting and enjoyable output by these Toronto legends. While I regularly hunt down each of these releases, Year of the Pig has always held a special place in my musical heart. Not only was this the release that solidified Fucked Up as one of my favourite all-time bands, but proved that you could add melodic female vocals and piano interludes to a 18 minute song and still rightfully call it ‘hardcore’.
The lyrical subject matter of the title track deals with Robert Pickton (a notorious serial killer, who fed his prostitute victims to his pigs to dispose of evidence) and the chronic mistreatment of sex workers in Canada. With guest vocals by Jennifer Castles (Castlemusic), the group is able to present a haunting and compelling composition about an important and often overlooked social matter. It’s proof that there truly isn’t anything that this band can’t do. Oh ya, and it’s a 18 minute song that never gets boring, and I don’t think I’ve ever willingly skipped over in favour of a shorter song....and this coming from a guy who prefers grindcore and powerviolence to most other forms of music.
As if that wasn’t enough, the 12” single also comes with an original b-side called “The Black Hats” which is a pleasant mix of old/hardcore and new/progressive Fucked Up. In fact, it’s one of those songs that I always secretly hope they play live and scream myself horse whenever they do.
Do yourself a favour and pick up all of Fucked Up’s zodiac records, but especially this one. Get it here.