F.U.'s (80s HC/Punk, Boston) + Cracked Up (Punk, NL)
The band initially consisted of John Sox, Steve Grimes, Bob Furapples, and Wayne Maestri. The band name was taken from a comment made by Wendy O. Williams in an interview in which she said something to the effect that "Smashing TVs is a great way to say 'F you' to society." The F.U.'s started out playing fast, thrashy hardcore punk, and their first recorded output was on the 1982 Modern Method compilation, This Is Boston, Not L.A. which also featured tracks by Gang Green, Jerry's Kids and The Freeze. A companion 7-inch EP, Unsafe At Any Speed, included another F.U.'s track.
Later the same year, their debut album, Kill For Christ, was released on X-Claim Records, featuring cover artwork by Septic Death frontman Brian 'Pushead' Schroeder, known for his work with Metallica, and Danzig depicting Jesus with a machine gun. Their second album, also on X-Claim, My America, saw them labelled as right wing nationalists due to its patriotic lyrics (which were sarcastic), and artwork. The satirical punk band The Dead Milkmen poked fun at the band's supposed right-wing
views on their song "Tiny Town" from the album Big Lizard in My Backyard. The band's final album as The F.U.'s, Do We Really Want To Hurt You? followed in 1984, on Gasatanka/Enigma. With this album, the band had begun to take a more heavy metal direction, which was taken further when the band changed name to Straw Dogs, with guitarist Steve Martin and drummer Chris "Bones" Jones added to the line-up. As Straw Dogs, the band released an EP followed by three albums. Drummer Chris Jones
died tragically in a car crash the day after the debut Straw Dogs EP was released. The F.U.'s material has been re-released on Classy Records and more recently on Taang! Records.
In 2002 Reflex/Wolfpack Records re-released both 'Kill For Christ' and 'My America' on one LP.
John Sox reintroduced the music of F.U.'s and Straw Dogs by forming the band Payload! in 2006 with Richie Rich, Bobby Frankenheim (who later joined the reunited DYS), Jack Snyder, and Mick Stunt. When approached by Katie Goldman of Gallery East to participate in an upcoming documentary called xxx ALL AGES xxx Sox decided to reunite all of the original members with members of Payload! to form the first hardcore supergroup for lack of a better term. Sharing the stage for a live show (as
mentioned in the press release) at Club Lido in Revere were, Sox, Grimes, Furapples, Maestri, Rich, and Stunt.
The F.U.'s performed a reunion show in the Boston area on August 29, 2010 along with fellow Boston pioneer hardcore punk bands DYS, Jerry’s Kids, and Gang Green as well as New York City’s Antidote. The show was in support of xxx ALL AGES xxx, a documentary about the original hardcore punk scene in Boston in the early 1980s, being produced in association with Stone Films NYC. Having had a good deal of fun at the Club Lido show, The F.U.'s have become an ongoing concern, playing gigs in New England, recording a song for a compilation called Cashing in on Christmas Vol. III for Black Hole Records and Recording a split vinyl EP with Somhinoise from Catalan distributed by Thrashtocat.
The current lineup is John Sox, vocals, Steve Grimes, guitar, Ian King, guitar, John Darga, bass, and
Bob Furapples, drums.
A powerful mixture of old school punk sounds and hardcore energy, Cracked Up are emerging as one of the most exciting bands of the year. 2016 has seen them developing a reputation as a compelling live act, growing their fanbase with successful live shows in Netherlands, Belgium, and England. High profile suport slots with legendary names such as L7, Cosmic Psychos, Poison Idea and Don't have helped the band earn a wide and enthusiastic audience. After playing at Rebellion punk festival in August, they were among the first bands chosen to play again in 2017. The four track E.P. Room (201)6 was recorded and released in March 2016 (see review)
The coming year will see the release of their first full length album, to be recorded at Amsterdam Recording Company, produced by Jean Morreau. More touring, to support the release, will take the band to Scandinavia, Germany, U.K. Belgium, France and Spain. With support slots already confirmed for such names as S.N.F.U. And Dangerman, and another appearance at Rebellion festival, 2017 promises to be an exciting year for Cracked Up.