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F.K.U. - 1981

by Bradley Karr at 08 January 2018, 12:56 AM

F.K.U. is a Swedish thrash metal band that lets their love for horror bleed through into their music. They have been around in some form since 1987, but didn’t truly get into their current groove until 1997. That is when vocalist Larry Lethal joined and the band recorded its first demo. The band’s new album “1981” is a follow up to their 2013 release “Rise of the Mosh Mongers”. “1981” is a love letter to the slasher films that came out in that year. F.K.U. doesn’t do a lot to change or experiment from their last album, but if it isn’t broke don’t fix it.

The title track “1981” harkens back to the era by starting the album with the sound of a VHS tape going in. Anyone that grew up in the 80s will find this sound familiar and oddly satisfying, because before the age of streaming it meant you were about to be entertained. F.K.U. kicks in with their familiar fast guitars and heavy drum beats. Larry Lethal’s voice kind of reminds me of an early Dave Mustaine as he wails about watching slasher films in 1981. With the title track it lays the stage for what is to come over the next 15 songs.

All the songs on this album are direct homages to the slasher films of the 80s. “Friday the 13th Part 2” is my favorite song from the album, because I grew up watching all the Friday the 13th movies. I love how the lyrics to the song go through the entire cast of the movie saying how their characters were killed in the film. The icing on the cake is when the band incorporates the classic “Cha, Cha, Cha” when Jason is around into the song itself.

“Funhouse” slows the tempo down a little from the speedy onslaught of the other songs. The song is about the movie The Funhouse that was directed by Tobe Hooper, known best for Texas Chainsaw Massacre. “Funhouse” like many of the songs on the album go into great detail about the many low budget horror flicks that were everywhere in the 80s. According the info with the album “1981-1989 delivered over 200 slasher movies” and not all of them were blockbusters.

Some of the songs that recount more notable movies on the album besides “Friday the 13th Part 2” are “The Prowler”, “Halloween II”, and “Night School”. The album ends with the bonus track called “Evil Dead”. The last track finishes out the album nicely with a fast-paced song about the movie that started it all with Ash and his friends. The reason I assume that this is a bonus track is because unlike all the other song titles Evil Dead is not a slasher film.

It is clear while listening to “1981” how much love the band has for these films and the horror genre. None of the songs are long, with the longest being the title track “1981” at 3:38. The length of the songs would be my issues with this album. As soon as you start to get into a song it is ending. The other is would be the writing. It is extremely creative the way they go through the movies for the songs, however by the time you get to the 13 track the novelty gets a little old. Overall this album is a good listen and very creative album. It’s one of those albums you can listen to in the car and before you know it you are well over the speed limit. I would be very interesting is seeing this band live to see what they bring to their shows.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. 1981
2. Nightmares in a Damaged Brain
3. Hell Night
4. Corpse Mania
5. Friday the 13th Part 2
6. The Burning
7. The Funhouse
8. The House by the Cemetery
9. Burial Ground
10. The Prowler
11. The Beyond
12. Halloween II
13. Night School
14. Ms 45
15. Evil Dead (Bonus Track)
Larry Lethal – Vocals
Pete Stooaahl – Guitars
Pat Splat – Bass
Tom Terror – Drums
Record Label: Despotz Records


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Edited 29 March 2023

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