The winner of the $20,000 prize for best Canadian album has gone to Fucked Up for their 2008 work The Chemistry of Modern Life. The highly controversial group, originally from Toronto, plays high-energy punk rock with virtosity and lyrical intellect.

Fucked Up, image courtesy of Matador Records

Fucked Up, image courtesy of Matador Records

The lead singer, Damian Abraham, has even worked with Jello Biafra, singer of the Dead Kennedys who is a generational beacon for the new-wave punk era of the 1980’s.

The punk quintet beat out other more well-known Canadian acts such as the pop wonder Metric, refugee hip-hop artist K’Naan, soulful rockers Great Lake Swimmers and pop experimentalist Chad Vangaalen.

However, you’ve got to admit that punk music has always had a bit of a select audience. Not everyone enjoys the rampant, almost machine-like speed of their delivery — much less appreciate its oft political or social messages. Punk music, at its best, comes from the downtrodden, the least socioeconomically empowered. So what does this say about Canadian music lovers when a punk band has won such a prestigious, popularizing award?

Personally, I’m a fan of anything punk. In fourth grade, I listened to Green Day‘s Dookie nearly every day, and have always loved the intellectual, leftist teachings of Bad Religion.