They do it their way, do Fuck, and pretty successful they are too....


8 / 10 THEY DO IT THEIR WAY, DO FUCK, AND pretty successful they are too. No longer the recipients of a name-destroying dash (not in here, anyway), this San Francisco quartet have mooched casually on to album number four and still no-one takes them seriously. Must be something to do with their name. Stubborn bastards.

In the end, of course, nobody wins. Censorship dictates that would-be Fuck enthusiasts aren't allowed to hear the band's slithery, Slint-inspired doodles (here, 17 songs in 34 minutes), while Fuck themselves are so intent on living the dream of being in a band called Fuck that trivial matters like, um, record sales and marketing take a back seat. Still, respect, in a way.

In theory, then, Fuck can effectively record what they like, how they like, safe in the knowledge that, save for friends and family, they'll remain largely undiscovered. And so they do on 'Conduct', flitting playfully from giddy stabs at Pavement ('Stupid Band', 'Straddle') to '50s doo-wop ('Monkey Doll') to, on 'My Melting Snowman', a chintzy, ice-cream van waltz. Eclectic and occasionally frivolous, yes, but also refreshingly original and, especially when head Fucker Tim Prudhomme sings, "I've seen a million faces but my heart still embraces only you" during 'Laundry Shop', surprisingly touching.

Which adds up to an inventive and highly enjoyable Fuck. But something, or somebody, has got to give, because Fuck are creating - and have been for years - some of America's finest quasi-experimental, guitar-based music and, frankly, more people need to be aware of it.

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