Chemistry is just a word we use to describe what occurs, when subtle changes in our minds make energy from common lives
Jacket - Front

Jacket - Back
Jacket - image on inside of gatefold

'A' side & 'C' side
'B' side & 'D' side

Lyric Sheet - Front

Lyric Sheet - Back


Year: 2008
Label: Matador Records OLE 807-1
Matrix A: OLE-807-1A RJ STERLING 17723.1(3)
Matrix B: OLE-807-1B RJ STERLING 17723.2(3)
Matrix C: OLE-807-1C RJ STERLING 17723.3(3)
Matrix D: OLE-807-1D RJ STERLING 17723.4(3)
Inserts: Double-sided insert, as pictured above
Variants: First Press and Repress

Year: 2014
Label: Matador Records OLE 807-1
Matrix A: OLE-807-A S-90377
Matrix B: OLE-807-B S-90378
Matrix C: OLE-807-C S-90379
Matrix D: OLE-807-D S-90380


Announcement - end of 'Tentative' Post LFG (Sept 09 2007)
Also tentatively we're starting to work on our next record tentatively entitled The Chemistry of Common Life. Get some knowledge.

''Interview'' extracts from LFG Post (July 15 2008)

Hi so the new record has been announced for Oct 2008 and its called "The Chemistry of Common Life" - what does it mean? 
The title comes from a book of the same name printed around the turn the last century,
which was about the chemical properties of different types of edible and hallucinogenic mushrooms. Originally the title was going to refer to drugs and nature somehow, but now I'm having a hard time remembering how the title was connected to those ideas. It was also along the same lines as "Looking for Gold" was, using the alchemy-fascist metaphor to refer to the spiritual re-organization of society. It doesn't really have any practical value as an idea to me, but there is hierarchy and order at all levels or nature that I like to think about when I'm thinking about people and how we're all arranged socially and spiritually. And somehow at the base of that is this scientific order that's governing the smallest particles and molecules whose organization is what's governing everything at the top in the first place, and the idea was to try and stretch that elementary social cohesion all the way up to the top and try to make sense of how things run up here.

We sort of lost the trail on that idea and the song "ChemCom" is about the beginning of life on earth and how intense it is to think about the molecular division between living and non-living matter, and what it is. At the base of all life is this magical chemistry that is pure science that somehow turned the switch on at some point millions of years ago,
but how did it happen? One idea is that these small pools of proteins got charged by lightning and turned into proto-living material, but how? It's hard to think of the start of life as a linear process, where these little particles joined together somehow
into strings of proteins that somehow clicked on and joined together, all the way up to cells and then multi-cellular organisms, and then larger creatures and so on. Its just such an mind-bending thing to try and think about - everything in the universe is just these arrangements of particles, these relationships between the resulting molecules - of all the millions of combinations, somehow life happened, it could have been anything, but from somewhere life started. It just tells you that life isn't about properties really, or individuals. It's about the interaction between those single properties that makes things happen - it's not about like hydrogen, or oxygen alone - it's the interaction that makes water. It's heartening to carry it forward - it isn't about you, but about how you interact with the world and people around you.
Same stuff as Hidden World, but different
We've always been interested in evolution, and Chemcom basically refers to the first evolution, from inorganic to organic. The insert art is crystals and rocks handing a baby over to trees and birds, its crazy.   
What makes you want to write about those types of things? 
I think life is the best idea anyone ever had - I want to pay tribute to it. A lot of people have wondered if Fucked Up became a religious band because we talk about god all the time, but thats not really the case - we are a bunch of people who don't believe in god but know that life would be a lot easier if we did. All the lyrics I write are about trying to find god in nature, like looking for these unexplainable and mystical processes that you can look at with a microscope, you know the memory stored in DNA, or the brightness of the sun - thats god I think and thats what's important for me to think about.

CMU Interview extract from LFG Post (July 16 2008)

What inspired your latest album?
I tried to bring the natural elements of 'Hidden World' further into the record this time. The LP isn't about ideology, it's about reality - things that never change. The songs are about lightning, the sun, birth, death, these elemental fixtures that are the basis of everything else. Look into the sun and empty my mind.
Hidden World
What process do you go through in creating a track? 
This time we were in a rush so we only gave ourselves enough time to write the most basic pieces of the song before we went into the studio. When we started recording we only knew about 25% of each song, and just wrote the rest in the studio. The entire process took about nine months - two months to write in the practice space, and six or seven months to record. We recorded the drums and bed tracks, went out tour with the rough mixes for a few months, and then went in every few days to add new things when we had ideas. It was like painting a picture over a really long time period. If we wanted in the middle of something, to have a French horn, or a guest vocalist, we would just call them and resume recording when that person would come in. 
Which artists influence your work? 
The sun, thunder, lightning, Mucha, Fernando Torres.

In the same spirit:
See the Hidden World lyric sheet  for more on Vibrations and Hums

Extract From LFG Post (Feb 07 2011)

You may remember last time we finished a full length album I made a funny post that counterpoised the mastered CD I got sent in the mail by the mastering company against a screen shot from my laptop computer of 2001 "A Space Odyssey" where the earth is eclipsing the moon and the moon is being eclipsed by the sun at the same time or something, and then put the CDR right on the screen as if it was eclipsing the entire thing. A lot of you probably didn't understand what was going on in the picture, especially because I posted the lyrics from the title track that contains shit like "The Vale the midwife birth the key", which I myself don't even really understand. 

Sleeve Notes:

The Chemistry of Common Life LP - (LFG Post Dec 27 2010)
This was the first time we commisioned a photograph for an album cover that wasn't a picture of the band. Our friend Mimi Cabell (mimicabell.com) took about 600 different shots over a few weeks in mid town Manhattan in July of 2008. What we realized later (by reading the wikipedia of our own album) that what she'd inadvertently captured was Manhattanhenge, where the sunset lines up perfectly with the street grid of New York, something that only happens twice a year, and allows a perfect view of the sunset looking west on the major streets of midtown. The shot is somewhere between 30th and 40th if I remember correctly. If you look closely you can tell that its not just one image, but a composite of about 35 different shots line up ontop of each other, which is why you have some people and cars overlapping, and explains the relative brightness of the sun and the lense flare everywhere. The shot is supposed to represent the main idea behind the record, which is the unity between culture and nature, and the idea that the literal source for all human culture and life is the sun. Even though the title is taken from a 19th century book on wild mushroom identification, what it means for the album is how everything thats cultural about our lives has its source in nature and science, and that there really isn't a divide between the two spheres. The song ChemCom describes the theory of the origin of life on our planet that states that tidepools containing abiotic proteins were zapped by lightning bolts continually for millions of years until finally the electricity (the sun) and chemicals (chemistry) fused to create the first living matter (common life), which describes the title and also the album cover.

Not the Sleeve

The Sleeve

Show Poster:
Pictures HERE

"Alternative Cover" by Enkeling

Polaris Prize:
Universal Praise

Son The Father (From Song Meanings.com)

Father, father, come see what I've built
Made civilization out of the Nile silt,
Built your monuments out of my brother's bones,
Exalted your words in flesh-bound tomes

It's hard enough being born in the first place,
Who would ever want to be born again?
It's taken this long just to get to this place,
So what's the point in ever being born again?

Papa, papa, come and watch me play
The whole world before me I laid to waste
Built Jerusalem out of these hidden worlds,
But I won't share it with the other boys and girls

More embarrassed than I'd hope to admit,
The living embodiment of perfect.

Daddy, daddy, are you proud of me?
I did it all for you because of what I believe
The sins of he father carried out by the son
From Cain and Abel until the last living life is done

Again we stand slack-jawed 
As our fates are moved by the hand of God
A God is what we see as we stare into his Papal eyes.

  • 0
    Song Meaning:"This song is about how we've wasted our lives in history, on bullshit.". That's from lead singer Damian Abraham's mouth while on tour.
    lazyoldsunon May 22, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation:I believe it's about taking the power of the father (representing the government or higher power (possibly God?)) and taking it as your own to save the mother (Mother Earth or humanity) "A reversed Oedipal complex based on power and not on the sex"
    ndocon December 21, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:Awesome song. It's about the futility of religion, tying to look at the bible with an open mind, from a different point of view. It's about mistakes and evil being inherent and being passed down.
    cizzydoon January 22, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My Opinion:Yea, it's definitely about religion -- specifically Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. The verses focus on, as cizzydo said, evil and corruption and how they are passed down from father to son [generation to generation]. Then I believe the chorus is essentially asking why anyone would want to be born again back into all this evil/corruption? It's a really well written, intelligent song.
    RainyDaze3on June 05, 2009   Link

Commodity Fetishism:

Test Pressings: