The F-Ups – Self/Titled (CD)

Even before I reviewed this disc, The F-Ups were the subject of some of the most inquiry to me. “Hey, is that the pop band with mohawks?” was a question fielded to me a bunch of times. Sure, they are, and their style of pop-punk mixes older Green Day and SR-71, and suffice it to say, the band sounds destined for one-hit wonder status. Not saying anything about their musical ability, but certain bands seem to get the push necessary to go farther in the Clearchannel/MTV ranks, and The F-Ups, just like Wakefield before them just have not gotten the amount of play that most “screamo” bands get. “Screw You” is the first single-worthy track on the disc, even though it blasts through much too quickly for any careful introspection on the lyrics or dissection of the instrumentation. Each track is within two and three minutes, perfectly mixed and mastered, and tiptoeing the line between being sincere and being created on the computer.

The bass, played by Andy first comes into play on “Glad That I Lost You”, one of a number of tracks that will capture the hearts of listeners but will not have the hooks necessary to garner high radio play. Oddly enough, the aforementioned track has more than a passing similarity to Darlington’s “Jodie Foster”, possibly showing that The F-Ups have been weaned on some of the same punk idols that current “its cool to like punk bands” like The Briggs and The Casualties have drawn inspiration from. The F-Ups do have one thing going for the, and that is that they are not as obviously insincere as bands like Good Charlotte and Sugarcult.

“All The Young Dudes”, a Mott the Hoople cover, is a decent cover for The F-Ups in that they are able to subjugate the track into their general sound and have it interact well with the tracks that immediately follow it. While it is one of the most memorable tracks on the CD, the radio single “Crack Ho” perhaps should get more attention, due to the fact that it is an original by the band. The track drops some of the harder edge that The F-Ups cultivate in a track like “Eye For An Eye”, and the track itself sounds like some sort of odd Mest / Good Charlotte hybrid, mixing the best of “Cadillac” with “Riot Girl”. Overall, The F-Ups are in a hard position; untested, they may not be getting the proper support from their record label, and being on a major label alienates a certain amount of punks that are too myopic to see the music for what it is. While The F-Ups stay to what is acceptable throughout the course of the disc, this self-titled debut would fit perfectly during a party.

Top Tracks: Crack Ho, Screw You

Rating: 5.5/10

The F-Ups – Self/Titled / 2004 Capitol / 12 Tracks / http:/www.thef-ups.com / http://www.capitolrecords.com / Reviewed 29 September 2004

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