And Abraham thinks his bandmate (and occasional artistic sparring partner) has done just that.
“When I look back at this record I'm like, ‘Thank God I didn't fight him on any of this stuff,’ because this is his opus,” Abraham earnestly affirms. “This is the Fucked Up opus, I think, in a very real way. I can't believe I'm saying all this nice stuff about him, because we don't get along this well.” With that much enthusiasm for the band's latest, Abraham is no longer feeling “done” with Fucked Up. “It sounds corny to say ‘rebirth,’ but [this feels] almost like a second act. I feel like my role in the band has changed now.”
Of course fans and critics will have their say, but Dose Your Dreams equals David Comes to Life as a creative achievement. Combining the emotional scope of Victor Hugo and Gabriel García Márquez with punk righteousness and ambient pop introspection (various songs bring to mind Cocteau Twins, the Cranberries and Animal Collective), Dose Your Dreams covers -- take a deep breath -- time traveling, anarchy, simulation universe theory, love, existential doubt, self-sabotage, suicidal urges and inescapable corporate culture.
“That's the Dose Your Dreams thing. Everybody has a dream of how the world should work, and certain people and certain companies make their dreams come true,” Haliechuk opines. “Unfortunately, the people that try the hardest to make things happen, it seems their only dreams are about making money and selling things to you.”
With such a hefty breadth of subject matter, Dose Your Dreams is -- not unlike David Comes to Life, whose titular character even appears on this LP -- an overwhelmingly ambitious concept album; still, you hardly need to understand to the narrative to enjoy its visceral and soul-stirring auditory pleasures.
“Me and Jonah walked into the studio for two weeks. We brought our guitars and drums, but whatever else was [already] set up, we used just from whatever band was there before,” Haliechuk says. “There happened to be a few synths and a few drum machines. We would write Fucked Up songs and punk songs for a couple days and we would get bored of that and write, like, straight-up techno songs and fucked around with the keyboards and the synths…. We didn't go into it being like, ‘Let’s make an eclectic record.’ We just all like different types of stuff, and the record's long enough to hold a bunch of different styles.”
With an album that veers from hardcore to techno while telling a love story about a time-traveling revolutionary, one might ask if it’s all too much. And in fact, the band’s primary singer does just that. “How is anyone gonna make sense of this thing?” Abraham asks, laughing. “But I think that's how Fucked Up has been the whole way through -- how is anyone gonna make sense of this thing? And somehow, luckily, there's people that do make sense of it and get into it.”