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    The F-Ups:

    The F-Ups

    Mon, 19 Jul 2004 11:35:38

    Album Reviews: The F-Ups by The F-Ups

    Sure, they have a PG-rated moniker and grade school cover art, so your hasty judgments are valid. This is a teen-angst band with small problems. But the F-Ups hail from Rochester, Minnesota, home to the Mayo Clinic and thus such weird sights as King Hussein's jet parked just a few blocks from suburban tract homes. It's a rarefied and often spooky atmosphere, guaranteed to promote escapism and apathy, as the F-Ups can tell you.

    From the hooky opening lines of their theme song, "Lazy Generation," to the fist-pumping refusenik adenoids of "No No No," these pop-punk teenagers (two of them with high-maintenance mohawks) know how to turn Midwest lethargy into a cause. Speedy and melodic, with The Replacements' stoopid-anthem EP Stink as an obvious forebear, the album derives its energy mostly from such old suburban teen favorites as dissing parents ("Look at Your Son Now") and copping a feel ("Falling Down"). But there's also a righteous New York '70s punk theme throughout, complete with a Ramones quote in "Wrong the Right" and a New York Dolls poster (replacing a sackmate's photo) in "Glad That I Lost You."

    The album's highlight is an astonishing cover of "All the Young Dudes," which speeds past the original while excavating a new source of emo magic. Do the F-Ups know that it's a queer anthem? Probably not. But to recontextualize the song as an ode to hedonism and teenage camaraderie is a dose of accidental genius. - Mark Desrosiers

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