TORONTO (Reuters) - A punk-rock band with an unprintable name and a 300-pound frontman who’s known to strip down to his underwear during performances has won the C$20,000 ($19,000) Polaris Music Prize for the best Canadian album.
Hardcore sextet F---ed Up took home the award, Canada’s equivalent of Britain’s Mercury Prize, after a jury of music journalists picked their 2008 album “The Chemistry of Common Life” at a gala on Monday night.
The win was announced minutes after the group had closed the show with a typically ferocious performance that saw lead singer Damian Abraham smash a glass on his forehead and remove most of his clothes. It surprised many industry observers, who pegged one of the more mainstream nominees, such as fan favorites Metric or rising rapper K‘naan, to take the prize.
“This is insane,” a clearly dazed Abraham said as he accepted the award. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for us. Take a look around this room; it’s absolutely amazing.”
The prize, now in its fourth year, recognizes the best Canadian album of the past year in any genre. Previous winners include Toronto violinist Final Fantasy, Montreal art-rockers Patrick Watson, and London-based, Ontario-raised ambient pop wizard Caribou (Dan Snaith).
F---ed Up has enjoyed critical and commercial success with “The Chemistry of Common Life” thanks to the album’s slightly more melodic take on the hardcore punk genre.
The band, which has been recording since 2001, was temporarily banned from MTV after destroying a bathroom and causing a near-riot during a taping last year.
The group will use the C$20,000 prize money to fund a benefit album to raise awareness about the plight of hundreds of missing aboriginal women in Canada, Abraham said at a press conference following the gala.
Editing by Janet Guttsman