The fuckin' FU's from Boston are a band we love very much but don't know much about. One of the earliest Boston hardcore outfits, the FU's consisted of John Sox, Steve Grimes, Bob Furapples, and Wayne Maestri. Their first exposure was on the This is Boston Not L.A. compilation along with fellow bands Jerry's Kids and Gang Green. Their debut 12", Kill for Christ, featured artwork by Pushead and was the second release on the almighty XClaim record label. It came out in 1982 and is nine short blasts of snotty hardcore. Not nearly as tough-sounding as labelmates SSD or DYS, the FU's were adamant about not being labeled a political band. Although they have songs about nuclear war and consumerism, they also ripped on mindless peace punk in the song "F.U.", which declares "Anarchy and peace has been put in a box."
The FU's took their anti-"political punk" stand further, starting with the cover art for their next LP My America, released on XClaim in 1983. The front is a picture of a sweeping, rugged American landscape with the sun beaming behind a mountain. They got it from some patriotic record. The back cover has a picture of General Patton in front of an American flag and the title track proudly screams "Love it or leave it." This semi-serious nationalistic stance was blown out of proportion and prompted much criticism from Maximum Rocknroll's Tim Yohannan and other political punks, and earned them immortilization in the Dead Milkmen song, "Tiny Town," which proclaims, "we hate blacks and we hate jews and we hate punks but we love the FU's." (It should be noted that the FU's never said anything remotely like that themselves.) All posturing aside, this is a great record - probably their best. As they say "who cares if you don't think like us, we're just fuckheads anyway." The lyrics are sometimes contradictory but always pissed off. The music is straightforward hardcore, with the exception of their version of Grand Funk Railroad's "American Band."
The FU's continued their cynical, misanthropic attack on the world with their final LP, 1984's Do We Really Want to Hurt You? - an obvious jab at the new wave pop being passed off as alternative at the time. For this album, they posed on a tank for the cover. The record is still hardcore, but shows obvious signs of rock-ification. Unlike fellow Bostonians (who also fell prey to the Boston curse and went rock), the FU's had the decency to change their name. They continued on (with a different drummer) as the Straw Dogs and put out a bunch of records which I've never bothered to track down. The FU's LPs are long gone on vinyl, but their entire catalog was rereleased on a disogranized double CD bootleg by Lost & Found along with a decent live set. Taang! has plans to reissue each of their three albums as individual CDs.
KILL FOR CHRIST 12" (XClaim, 1982)
MY AMERICA LP (XClaim, 1983)
DO WE REALLY WANT TO HURT YOU? LP (Gasatanka/Enigma, 1984)
ROCK THE NATION 7" (live recording)
THE ORIGIN OF THE STRAW DOGS 2LP (Lost & Found, has first 12", early comp tracks, and a live set)
REVENGE LP (Lost & Found, has the 2 LPs)
ORIGIN/REVENGE 2CD (has both L&F boots on 2 CDs)
THIS IS BOSTON NOT L.A. LP (Modern Method, 1982) "Preskool Dropouts", "Radio UNIX USA", "Green Beret", "Time is Money"
THE MASTER TAPE LP (Affirmation, 1982) "C.E.T.A. Suckers", "Death Wish"
UNDERGROUND HITS 2 LP (Aggressive Rockproduktionen, 1983)
UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED EP (Modern Method, 1983) "C.E.T.A. Suckers"
CODE BLUE tape (Last Rites, 1984) "Ode to Larry Joe" (live)
FLIPSIDE VINYL FANZINE LP (Gasatanka/Enigma, 1984) "Warlords"
MR. BEAUTIFUL PRESENTS: ALL HARD LP (Modern Method, 1985) "In Deep"
SUBURBAN VOICE 15TH ANNIVERSARY COMPILATION CD (Suburban Voice, 1998)
Interview from MRR #9
This is a really interesting article/interview/letter response from Tim Yohannan, mostly regarding the F.U.'s nationalist stance on their My America record.
Interview from Flipside #43
This brief interview is with drummer Bob Furapples from 1984, around the time their last LP came out. Can't say I agree with much he says... Thanks to Rich for lending me the zine.
Steve Grimes Retrospective
Interesting band histroy written for the Taang! reissues - I got it from the Taang! website.
FU's Webpage on the Taang! website
For all your FU's merchandise needs.