Between the late '80s and 2001, Washington, D.C.'s Fugazi pumped out some of the angriest, smartest and
most sincere guitar-based rock music in the world, all without ever signing to a major label,
making a hit MTV video, or charging more than five dollars for a concert!
Eminently respectable, this four-man guitar/bass/drums combo created their
fan base not through normal corporate BSPR, but through hard work,
dedication, and a whole heck of a lot of great musical ideas.
was started by Ian McKaye and Jeff Nelson (and maybe a few others, too...) in
the early '80s to release records by their bands (Ian played bass for Teen
Idles) and bands of their friends (including Henry Rollins's first band,
S.O.A. - back when he was Henry Garfield of all crazy things!), and managed
to thrive throughout the eighties thanks to topnotch DC acts like Ian's own Minor Threat
and Embrace and Guy Picciotti's fine Rites Of Spring. So dammit, it was only
appropriate that as these two hot leading men began to tire of hardcore and
three-chord happy rock, they should put together a tight little
bass-and-bile-driven band that would darn it all change the face of post-punk
music for every times! They then continued to grow,
experiment, and test their talents and influences with every new release. Buy
'em all! You won't be disappointed, and nobody deserves your money more than
these fine young men (especially since they only charge like $7.00 per CD!).
Fugazi EP - Dischord 1988.
I was in Atlanta listening to the Ramones at the time,
but I'm told that this record had an amazing impact on the D.C. hardcore
scene, driving tons of jaded youngsters to wonder to themselves, "You mean
it's possible to make good music that isn't really really really
fast????" Well, of course there is. Pink Floyd used to be good!
how best to describe this first Fugazi EP? Very rhythm-driven with blasty,
crackly, restrained guitar lines slashing across the top in a surprisingly
low-key non-overbearing fashion. And two vocalists - one a deep-throated
screamer named Ian and the other a higher-toned pleasant shouter named Guy
(pronounced "Gee" with a hard "G"). The songs are all midtempo, often
toetappingly funky-esque without being actually "funky" in the Jane's
Addiction sense - this is rock and roll, after all; these guys are a little
too bright to be playing funk metal. And I guess the words are probably
socially-conscious, but they're a little vague, especially to me since I've
never actually sat down and listened to them, so you make the call.
Obviously, "Suggestion" is Ian's bizarre attempt to make us see life through
the eyes of a woman, although it hardly works, what with Ian being a
deep-throated screamer and all, but who gives a rat salad by black sabbath?
It's a fine song nonetheless!
I'm trying to think of precedents for this
band's music, but I really can't. It's not amazingly complex, but it's very
idiosyncratic. Tight and mean, but swingin', too! Very sincere vocals all
around, too. Too. Too! You can tell it's their first record as the songs
aren't nearly as creative and wacked-out as they would soon become, but it's
one of the most popular debuts in alternative music (I mean, real
alternative music, if I may turn my nose up at you Bush knaves for a moment),
and for darn fine reason. "Waiting Room" is a g__d___ classic, "Glue Man" is
a m_____f______ swirly swoo of wonder, and the five tracks between are s___
b____ b______ a______ c___-s______ c___-l______ nipples!
Add your thoughts?
- Reader Comments
wow,I'd just like to say,"yes,waiting room is a classic".Did this band
really start the whole watered-down "emo" thing that is so popular these
days.I hate most of it,because it is so mono.ot this record,but emo.but Fugazi is
one of the best bands ive ever heared in my entire life.this is a nice
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Akis Katsman)
Hey Mark, Fugazi EP is NOT the first Fugazi release. Fugazi released their first album called Marillion in 1984. If you can find it, please review it. It has some ultra obscure songs like 'Assasing' and the infamous title track in which there are some nasty Nazi references. And the music is better too, somewhat on the progressive side than the boogie art punk they played later. Fugazi ignore this album 'cos they think the music is too commercial and the cover is cartoonish (although not related to Bugs Bunny at all). But I fuckin' disagree. Marillion is my second favourite Fugazi album after the masterpiece Red Medicine. Repeater can go to hell.
(sorry guys, but no one has made that joke before, so I'm the first
asshole to do that. HA!)
umm, yea. i donīt own this and i just know "waiting room", because i know it
and it gets covered daily by shitty punk bands all over the world, like
"yesterday", "stairway to heaven" and "personal jesus" get covered by shitty
grindcore bands from poland codziennie. that last one means "daily". god,
you americans, why canīt anybody of you speak at least polish, thats such an
easy language. anyway, my point is, that bands should make more EPs. they
should press them on those 7" vinyl or those littel i donīt know how many "
CDs that sometimes come with easter bunnys, crammed with your 4 least
favourite easter radio hits. iīm so glad easter is over. not a big thing in
the us, is it? oh what do i know.
EPs are good! because they are short. and thus most bands put more effort
into picking good songs out of their repertoir, or at least play the shitty
songs so fast, that you donīt notice them. a good ep, some 20 minutes or
less of happy shinny peoples music is the best thing in the world. and if a
band realeses 3 of the in a row, they can compile it as their first album,
making them sell everything twice and stuff...so whereīs my point?
most bands donīt HAVE the ability to put 60 minutes of good music together.
60 minutes! or even 40! thatīs long in terms of creativity! most bands donīt
put together 60 minutes of good music during their whole career! stick to
CDs guys, make them tiny, fast and enjoable. if you only put one good out,
at least one can say: they sucked live, but hey, that first EP! or
make it cheap, so if its shit, itīs not so bad. yea thatīs my point. i am
now going to illegally download the fugazi ep. because i think thats okay.
For the benefit of the positive youth out there, I would like to discredit
the above commentator. "Marilion" or whatever is the name of a band that has
an ALBUM named "Fugazi". They album was relesed on EMI or some major along
those lines, which anyone who is versed in Fugazi at all, will know that
striking a major label deal would be the last thing for those boys to do.
Just check out ebay, you'll see Marillion lots on acution, including many
copies of the "Fugazi" album. It may have predated the band, but had nothing
to do with it's existance.
"I'm trying to think of precedents for this band's music, but I really can't"
Have you heard the Ruts? i think they were a huge influence on early Fugazi (they mixed Funky Punk and Dub). I also think of bands like Gang of Four, Mission of Burma, and maybe, the guitar interplay of Television.
Fugazi is the fucking shit. They are great!
Margin Walker EP - Dischord
Sounds a lot like a prospective side two for a full
album created by combining the first two EPs! These songs are real similar to
those on the last one with the teeniest bit more of a musical view; "Margin
Walker" is a little groovier, "Provisional" is an ungodly (and yet somehow
godlikely!) amount poppier, and "Promises" is touchingly sorrowful, yet
boogyin'! And that's the difference. Otherwise, it still sounds like Fugazi,
Clearly, they're capable of musical growth, but they
aren't going out of their way to beat us over the head with it. That said, there isn't a
song on the first EP like "Promises," and I'm not even sure there could be.
Almost Cure-like in its goth moodiness (except for the smooth hip middle dance
bit), it points its nose towards a future of calmed-down musical exploration.
Hate to throw the word "exploration" around, but a dumber band would have
invented the signature Fuggy sound and sat on it for ten years 'til everyone
wanted to kick 'em in the tooth (like The Jesus Lizard), but they refused!
They were too bright to just repeat themselves, in the long run. They've
never completely given up their classic sound; they've just expanded on
it, adding in elements of '70s rock, jazz, lo-fi pop, oh almost everything
besides country-western - all while still basically sounding like Fugazi. I'm
still speaking of the future (our past and present), you understand. Margin
Walker itself isn't all that adventurous - it's just great. Has the first
Fugazi song I ever heard, too! It's called "And The Same," and it's got a
bass line that'll eat your nose off. Still one of my all-time flave-o-rites
Add your thoughts?
3 Songs 7" - Dischord 1989.
"Song Number One" is not a fuck you song. In fact, it's a really catchy loud early Fugazi ROCKER. Got that "Suggestion" feel, but happier and with lyrics about how little the whole "punk scene" is filled with beans and people who worry about shit coming out of their ass instead of important things like America and the flag. That's what Fugazi's Lead Singer Ian MacKaye (pronounced "Mick Eye" in tribute to Jagger's amazing 20/10 vision) means when he says "Fighting for a haircut? Then grow your hair!" The song rules out the widdly-doo and its lyrics are literal! Literally GOOD, that is! Heh heh! Or, as the kids say in their AOL Instant Messenger friendships, "LOL!"
"Joe Number One" is a fuck you song. In ths one, Joe Lally lays down a wicked smooth bass line -- no wait, Joe Lally lays down a wicked smooth bass on the floor and picks up a bonus rubbery bass and plays a bass line with it and it HUMS, FUCKLE! But then Fugazi's Lead Singer runs out of the studio during the song and just holds up his middle fingers in a bitter display of "Fuck you, our fans!" so strong and cumbersome you can feel it wafting off the record in buckets of chablis and overdrive (not to mention an amateurish, no-good lead guitar line by studio musician Eric Clapton!). The song is great anyway, even though the mere absence of vocals is the band's way of saying, "Fuck you, fans. If we liked you at ALL, we would have said something during this song." Similarly, The Ventures are the biggest misanthropes in rock and roll history, at least since classical musicians used to go onstage and shoot all their fans with a rifle before each concert.
The third song is called "Break-In" and it is NYHC! NOBODY plays classic NYHC like Fugazi! One of the oldest NYHC outfits, along with Agnostic Front, Cro-Mags and Big Black, Fugazi made their name playing $5 all-ages shows in Washington Square Park, influencing the entire "Washington Drugs/Crime (DC)" sound. Later bands like Bluetip sounded exactly identical to them and somehow that was okay. But that's the thing about Marillion. Everybody loves them.
As for "Break-In," it is a really loud, fast, angry punk rock song in which Fugazi's Lead Singer Guy Picciotto (pronounced just like it looks - "Ghee Pitchy-colobodoh") sings about this guy who dicks the shit out of this broad and they're all fuckin and suckin and gettin their "ferak" on and then she gets pregnant and he's all like I hope she'll leave me alone and get an abortion if I'll pay for it. That's my opinion. But you want to hear my other opinion? Here, wait here:
My opinion is that Fugazi are one of the greatest and smartest rock bands in history. You want to hear intelligence translated into guitar-driven rock music, you gotta hear some Fugazi. They just keep doing it over and over and over again -- without repeating their sound! They build upon it, soften it, jazz it up, make it harder, make it spookier -- but it's always really really clever. This, see, is the difference between "music" and "the music business." If you listen to commercial FM stations and their Korn and Creed and Aerosmith and Jimmy Eat World, what you're hearing is the music business. These bands are specifically writing songs in an attempt to coolaborate with the promotions department of their record labels and sell units - they consider "music" a career and they are doing whatever they can to further their career. This generally involves creating obvious chord sequences that push emotional buttons among impressionable young people. Fake anger, fake love, fake sorrow -- this has nothing to do with "music" - it's just commerce. I'm not putting it down -- I'm just trying to explain why there are no good bands on the radio, yet still tons and tons of great bands in the world. It's because the "no good" bands are based on easy-to-grasp formulas that people who spend $18 on a CD are willing to pay for -- the "bad boy" attitude of hip-hop, the fake aggression/rebellion of "nu metal," the recycled riffs of this modern cute-boy "garage rock" as they're calling it. That stuff sells to people who will pay for it. If ALL good bands managed to sell as many units as Nirvana did, it would be a different story. But that's simply not going to happen, if for no other reason than that smart people who like smart music are too smart to pay $18 for a fucking CD when we know we can get it used two weeks after release for $9, or make a CDR from a friend, or download it from some MP3 site! So next time you want to argue that CD burning and MP3s AREN'T killing the record industry, at least try to acknowledge that it's certainly not helping support any GOOD BANDS either!
Me? I don't much care either way, to be honest. Musicians make plenty of money touring. If they lose all their sales because of the high prices of CDs and low costs of technological theft, let 'em tour more or get a real job like all their fans have to do, the fucking talentless jackoffs! (Except Fugazi, who are NOT after the green by all indications. They're the good guys!) If a band is really in it for the love of MUSIC, they'll create the music as a hobby, sell it through the web or whatnot and we'll still get to hear it. If they're careerists, chances are that their music is shitty careerist music anyway and we won't miss 'em when they have to go back to their fast food jobs!
Having said that, there are a few bands that I love so much, I always pay full price for their CDs when they come out, simply because I want to support them and in some small way let them know how much I appreciate their fine work. Fugazi is one of those bands -- and they make it REALLY easy to do, because they price all their albums SO DAMN CHEAP! GO BUY 'EM! THEY'RE GREAT AND THEY'RE CHEAP!
Add your thoughts?
13 Songs - Dischord 1990.
Hey! It's a special CD package featuring both of the
first two EPs on one low-price CD! You'd be a fool not to buy it! You'd be a
fool not to buy it for me!
Add your thoughts?
- Reader Comments
I hate Fugazi, and I punish myself for owning this CD.
- email@example.com (Jacques Tremblay)
Their worst album. You gotta love the three first songs and most others,
I'm sorry, but I just had to write in response to the Fugazi-bashing dickheads
above this post. In my opinion, 13 songs is the most consistent of all their
albums. It might just be their best. "Waiting Room", "Glue Man" and "Lockdown"
are worth the price of admission by themselves. One complaint I have is about
the altogether shitty version of "Provisional" that they put on the Margin
Walker ep. I cannot stress enough how much that version is blown out of the
water by the song "Reprovisional" on Repeater. Oh yeah, and the song "Margin
Walker" makes me see Satan/God.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Scot Kuhnert)
I'm forced to agree with InMyEyes about the two idiots above, but oh
well, fugazi never needed their type and niether does the scene, we'll
let them run home and listen to the new Motley Crew album until their
ears bleed for all we care. 13 Songs is a great album but I can't say
its their best (how does a band like fugazi have a best album?), it does
have some incredidbly high points though (christ what fugazi album
doesn't?) Margin Walker is one of their best songs, I like the version
of "Provisional", its more raw, simple.
- email@example.com (Paul Stewardson)
Really good, surprisingly melodic, straighforward rock music if you ask
me. First heard "Waiting Room" in a club and was suprised to hear it was
by Fugazi (who I had heard of before I had actually heard if you see
what I mean). Bought this album and was happy! "Margin Walker",
"Provisional", "Bad Mouth" and "And The Same" are all lovely too!
I'm going to be an asshole and comment on all of Fugazi's records in
one message. I guess there will be a bit of cutting and pasting involved
13 Songs is probably my least favorite. Don't get me wrong, it's
actually quite good. But the only songs I come back to are "Waiting Room,"
"Give Me The Cure," "Margin Walker," and "Promises," the rest have too much
Chili Pepper white-boy-funk influence, and not enough melody, not that
they're at all bad, but they still get the skip-button treatment. They were
probably listening to the Big Boys a lot. I'll get my ass kicked, but i'll say
that this one is by far more sedate than Steady Diet Of Nothing. And dont
listen to what the crusties say about Fugazi "losing the punk edge" that they
had in their earlier stuff, there isn't a single hardcore-thrash moment here,
and between Red Medicine and End Hits, there are quite a few. So in the
words of Brent Cole, "fuck those guys." Fugazi don't need ya anyway. Oh and
please stop coming to their shows. Because you're the reason that Ian has to
stop in the middle of every song because people are fucking each other up.
Remember, this is Fugazi playing tonight.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (James L. Tichenor)
This is quite a leap from the final outing of Minor Threat. This
changed the rules forever in D.C., bridging the gap between the harcore
early eighties- and the post punk noise pop nineties. This album is
alright, you can see where the band was going. They already have a
tight feel and while the lyrics may be a bit esoteric, they work well on
songs like "Glue Man" and "Margin Walker". Really pretty original and
clever. Very energetic. I always thought the band could do with a
little sense of humor now and then. Damn. Ya think At the Drive In was
influenced just a little bit by this band?
- Gale@beer.com (Nick Gale)
Maybe its just because I bought it a decade after its release,
but 13 Songs really doesn't sound very dynamic or revolutionary to
me. There are good moments (Waiting Room and Burning Too come to
mind), but there's also a whole host of average, forgettable songs.
The lyrics, too, tend towards boring, cliched sloganising, in
contrast to the depth and complexity found on End Hits. And the
patronising 'Suggestion' makes me cringe. AND 'Glue Man' is horribly
Actually, that makes it sound worse than it is: it's not a BAD album
by any means, just a 7/10 one rather than a 9/10.
- Equimanthorn@btopenworld.com (Mark Salt)
The first time i heard 13 songs was at a friends house, i was into punk and metal at the time and when i heard "waiting room" i got that glorious
rush ,that tingle from head to toe that tells you something magic was at work.
Since then ive played that album to death and i never tire of hearing it,its like an old friend who never pisses you off or lets you down.Fugazi
transcend the tired formulaic rock pumped out by many of their so called luminaries,and never do what is expected of them.I now own all their
albums abd love them all for different reasons.They are never scared of trying out new ideas or musical styles yet integrate these into a framework
that is still unmistakably their own.
They never pander to any trend or trait and somehow always produce music that sounds fresh,alive honest ,envigorating and heartfeltThey are
one of the main reasons i now play a musical instrument(bass),and are one of the very few bands i also always go to see live when they hit the
u.k.Trying to rate a fugazi album is like trying to say which was the best sunset you saw,they were all beautiful and moved you and enriched your
life an impossible task for me.
For me 13 songs was the start of an amazing experience which is still going on.Their music still moves me in a way that very few others do
and each new album fills me with almost childish excitement and anticipation,more than is normal for a 34 year old married man .Inspiring and
innovative and a bastion of single minded determination to go against the grain fugazi are in a class of their own.
Take a couple of guys from the legendary band Rites Of Spring and add Ian from (duh) legendary band Minor Threat and what do you get? At The
Drive In! Just kidding. And while A.T.D.I. ain't all bad, it's obvious they've taken a serious look at the Fugazi catalog, and I'd be willing to bet that
you'd find this one in their record collection. After all, it's good enough, cheap enough, and doggone it, people used to get all weepy for Guy back
in '85 (D.O.D.) including the boys.
- email@example.com (Glenn Lester)
This record has slowly become one of my favorite Fugazi releases.
"Waiting Room," "Suggestion," and "Bad Mouth" are catchy Ian-lead funkers, but
Guy's songs, while a little harder to swallow, are churning,
screaming-at-a-wall (forgive the slight pun), self-searching anthems. These
tunes sound like they were written for a choir; they should be sung in
church--13 Hymns. Some reviewer from allmusic.com said something like, "Every
one of these tracks reaches an anthemic level without being pompous." When
Guy screams "I'm gonna set myself on fire," I believe him. 9/10.
Eh. . . not bad. Personally, for me, it suffers from the curse of
"Late-'80's Pioneering American Indie-Rock Antihype". Meaning, the
innovative, clever, experimental, aka alternate-tuning part of the
music sort of drowns out its "Wow, I enjoy this!!" part. Therefore,
THANK FRIGGING GOD I'm not, nor have ever been, witness to the birth
and/or gestation of any, as they say, "scene," and as such have no
"cred" to uphold/fake.
Now, for the good news. This band, for all its lack of resonance and
anti-pop attitude at the expense of everything else, has a hella sense
of rhythm. That's really its main strength--and since rap music has
the same strength, I'm not one to complain. Even when the guitar
"riffs" are at their most noisy and the vocals at their most
"experimental", you still move to the beat. Personally, I'd enjoy it
more if they lengthened the songs a little and added some mood
diversity to the mix. True, the last song does represent a slower
departure from the rest, but ballad it ain't. It's just. . . less
shouty. More dreary. Lyrics more straightforward. Modern emo fans
(which I am not, by the way. Nor to I listen to Motley "Crew" until
my "ears bleed"--or like them, for that matter. All you fan flamers,
PLEASE take some medication and/or get a life) won't recognize it,
This being the only Fugazi album I've ever heard (because all the fans
say it's their best, and hence, the best album ever bestowed on mortal
man since John Cale blew out his organ speakers), I still have high
hopes for Repeater. It's supposed to be more, er, shall we say, um. .
. sell-out capitalist, relatively speaking. Which probably means they
sing from time to time. Can't wait to buy it. It IS cheap, after
* Repeater - Dischord 1990 *
Some critics label this a simple
"repeat," as it were, of the musical ideas expressed on the first two EPs, but
I have to wholeheartedly disagree. It may be stylistically similar, but
almost all of these tunes take the signature sound to a more creative level; in
other words, there are no "Waiting Room" rip-offs on here. Instead, they
fiddle with novel guitar sounds (the eerie cyclical feedback whine of the
title track, the string scraping melody of "Styrofoam," the bouncy ticky
floppydop of "Merchandise"), further explore the dark "Promises" vibe in
monstrously soulful ballads like "Turnover," "Blueprint," and "Shut The Door,"
and drag up the old hardcore vibe with some crazily aggressive axe grindin'.
I consider this the most recommendable Fugazi recording because it's so easy to love. The others are more subtle and can take more time. Repeater displays great energy and tunefulness while also
including enough experimentation to make your ears perk up and go "Hey!"
Then you can go buy all their others too.
Add your thoughts?
- Reader Comments
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Mark Shaffer)
I totally agree with everything you said about this album. It is an
excellent display of talent and guitar intensity. Ian MacKaye has been
one of my favorite singers ever since i first heard Minor Threat, and he
doesn't disappoint in this band either. "Repeater" is probably my
favorite song on this album, but all the others are just as good.
- email@example.com (Evil Barney)
Who ever does instrumentals anymore? "Brendan #1" is a FINE instrumental.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jacques Tremblay)
While this record isn't very powerful in technical terms, the songs really
have an edge that is subtle but undeniable. The guitars sound a little
sloppy, but they help produce a sound that's full and rich. FUGAZI is one
of the few bands that possess this guitar sound, along with DRIVE LIKE JEHU
(who were, by the way, one of the most original, powerful and intelligent
bands around). On REPEATER, the songs don't need a razor sharp production
to shine: the quality of the songs is great and the entire album seems to
grow on you. REPEATER seems like a quite simple album if you listen to it
once or twice, but the power and the solid melodies become better and
better with time. And as usual with FUGAZI, the vocals of both singers are
This is the most hard-hitting, non-emotional out of all their albums. Also,
the mix makes it so the bass and drums are VERY prevelant, while the swirly
guitars kind of hover overhead like a vulture waiting for the armadillo to
finally die already. The version I have is accompanied by the
3 Songs ep. And
by the way, those same three songs are probably the worst on here. I do love
this album so much, though. Especially "Styrafoam" and "Sieve-Fisted Find",
and "Greed" is awesome. Well all the songs here are extremely good, and the
band threw in a little industrial-esque, New York style experimentation, too.
Definitely worth twelve bucks.
- email@example.com (James Tichenor)
Repeater- a great album. Really thoughtful music, the guys are all
talented. They aren't just satisfied with playing their instruments the
conventional way- they're creative and inventive with what they do.
Plus they know when and how it's time to open up a can of whoop ass in
their music. Everyone who likes Fugazi should own this ditty.
Repeater rules my world. This album is so dense and hairy and has so
many great ideas on it. Anyone who thinks this album is a retread is a
fucking dork (ha!). There's so much energy, so much power, so much creativity
on display here. Guy Picciotto picking up the guitar did a lot to
energize the band, to the point where they actually sound like a band, rather than
four (or three when Ian let Guy take a break) guys standing around in a
room playing the same songs at the same time. Y'know, I don't mean to be so
harsh on the first two records, but in between Margin Walker and Repeater,
they just got so much better, to the point where every song is a keeper.
Except "Greed," that is, but sheesh, that's only a minute-and-a-half blemish
on an otherwise amazing record.
- Gale@beer.com (Nick Gale)
Massively better than '13 Songs': the songwriting's improved
noticeably, the guitar stuff ('riffs'? 'hooks'? I don't understand
musical terminology) is great, and there's much more invention. It's
also probably their most consistant album - it's hard to pick a weak
track. 'Turnover', 'Repeater', 'Merchandise' and 'Reprovisional', in
particular, are great.
On the other hand, the lyrics can still resemble the 'meaningful'
scribblings of a rebellious 12-year-old. 'You are not what you own'?!
Thanks Ian, I would never have figured that out without your help...
A 10 and we know it. The band has clearly found their voice (scream) and it sounds as essential today as it did ten years ago. I still feel guilty
about owning two late model Hondas whenever I hear "Merchandise" because I love my Hondas and I love "Repeater" too. "You are not what you
own!" screams Ian. "I just love these power windows!" I scream back. And Dischord's latest ad "campaign" features the Arlington Fire
Department putting out a Honda that's caught on fire...I'm sorry Ian, but the leather seats feel real nice.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Glenn Lester)
Unlike virtually every other Fugazi fan I know, this has never been
my favorite Fugazi record. The whole 'emo' vibe of songs like "Blueprint" and
"Two Beats Off" (a really funny title if you think about it) never really won
me over. That said, "Turnover" is one of Guy's best songs and "Merchandise"
is pop-punk, Fugazi-style. That part in "Sieve-Fisted Find" where the music
drops down and Ian sings "Sieve-fisted find/you find nothing/sieve-fisted
find/YOU FIND NOTHING!" makes my cream my jeans. My least favorite Fugazi
disc, but that's not saying anything. 9/10.
- email@example.com (Karma J. Mustafa)
I don't know what it is about this album that holds me back. I just can't get into it. The sound is great. I love the interplay between the guitars (bass
included). I think my problem is with the vocals. They're so lacking in personality. It's like they're pure emotion, with no humanity in them.
Well, I finally got around to picking this one up. And it's good. Not great.
Some bones to pick: The lyrics are way too naive. I agree with Nick Gale,
above. Sometimes they're good, but only when they're approaching the
vagueness they later achieve. Also, the studio version of "Repeater".. well..
hate to say this.. kinda sucks. Previously I had only heard the "Live At Fort
Reno" version and the live version they did when I saw them a few months
back. Way more intense, way noisier, and without the irritating extra vocal
tracks. The production is odd too. Not enough emphasis on the guitars. Also,
the guitars tend to be playing much more conventional melodies and riffs than
anywhere else. Odd.
But the good: Guy's singing is in fine form; his voice is much more intense
and emotive than Ian's. Two Beats Off, Turnover and Blueprint are especially
Shut The Door is one of Fugazi's best songs ever.
"Greed" reminds me of Gang of Four, all herky jerky and whatnot.
And that's that. I'm glad they got more experimental after this album and
stopped being so naively political in their lyricism. And even though it's
probably my least favorite Fugazi album, it still gets a seven.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Eric B.)
heh this is probably my FAVORITE fugazi album... because of the catchiness. i love all their albums lots and lots and lots and oh my but oh man this is a great album. VERY catchy melodies set to ULTRA SERIOUS lyrics make for much fun on my part, heh.
and merchandise has one of the most amazing choruses ever.
I'm not sure what is the problem with the people sending you their
poopie comments about Repeater. It is fab. I remember like it was 15
years ago that me and my so-called punk friends would get a wee bit
tired of screamy, angry hardcore and relax to the gentle rhythms of
Fugazi or Shudder To Think.
Also, Jawbox. Also, Enya, but only in the dark after a good cry.
Sadly, I'm not kidding about the Enya. That guy sure was strange.
For the LONGEST time I didnt understand why people liked Fugazi, I always
found myself daydreaming and not paying attention to the music untill I
listened to this album. I always thought Waiting Room and Bulldog Front were
great songs but other then that there were no other songs by this band that
interested me. This album is awesome though. I am horrible at lyric
interpretation and thankfully Ian is pretty straight forward like when he
was in Minor Threat (which is probably my favorite punk band). The guitars
are doing some pretty interesting things and by interesting I mean being
plugged into amps. This band has alot of emotion in their songs or messages
they are getting out. I think Ian is probably the best at getting emotion
into a song, next to Husker Du, or Godspeed You Black Emperor but they are a
rock orchestra so that doesnt count. I have nothing else to say other than i
am glad I gave this band another try. And I definitely can see Ian as being
one of my favorite musicians in the future, he has alot of great ideas like
jesus himself Mike Patton whom I worship.
Now Ian and Guy are total rock Gods. But unlike REAL Gods (PFFT YEAH RIGHT!) they reply to emails!
This album is a peach, and so I paid Ģ8 to actually buy the actual real thing. And it comes in a lovely jewel case with photographs of the GUYS everywhere.
Here is my song by song review.
Turnover - A ROCK HIT ABOUT BUSINESS.
Repeater - A ROCK HIT ABOUT BUSINESS.
Brendan #1 - A ROCK INSTRUMENTAL FOR THE NERD MAN.
Merchandise - A ROCK HIT ABOUT BUSINESS.
Blueprint - A ROCK HIT ABOUT BUSINESS?
Sieve-fisted Find - A ROCK HIT ABOUT BUSINESS OR SCIENCE?
Greed - A ROCK HIT ABOUT BUSINESS.
Two Beats Off - A ROCK HIT ABOUT BUSINESS AND STEALING MONEY FROM DISCHORD'S TILL.
Styrofoam - A ROCK HIT.
Reprovisional - You heard Provisional! Now try REPROVISIONAL! It's the same as Provisional, but with heavier booms and bangs.
Shut The Door - TOTAL HIT.
Song #1 - This is the Fugazi WHAM RAP, but it shreds yo.
Joe #1 - What happens when you have sex with an attractive lady and accidently get some stuff in her thing? WHOOPS! That's the next track! OR IS IT?
Break-In - What happens when you have sex with an attractive lady and accidently get some stuff in her thing? OH SHIT! There is a new person going to climb out from inside her! They cost money! This is a hardcore hit about that panic.
Well that's what happened to the parents of some guy and they said WE SHALL CALL HIM JOE#1! And he was really good at bass! A BASS-ACE! ACE OF BASS! Maybe that happened?
On a completely unrelated note to anything ever, here are eight albums
that I recently added to my Best Ever List From Hell:
Aretha Franklin Lady Soul--Big booty bass lines and brass! '60's
soulful booty oh yeah! If you like the Blues Brothers movie, get.
Willie Nelson Stardust--Mark will hate like the dickens. A bunch of
mellow '50's jazzy songs countrified with harmonica and womanly Neil
Young-y vocals over a blah Nashville orchestra. Wimpy, but all ten
songs are standards, and these are the best covers of them.
Willie Nelson Red Headed Stranger--Mark might not hate as much. This
is less '70's Nashville wimpiness and more the soundtrack to some
particularly dark John Wayne movie. Again, mostly covers, but the
long-haired womanly man makes them all his own. Ignore the bitchy AMG
review of it fer Chrissakes.
One Nation Under a Groove--The only single-and-a-half album I've ever
heard of, but proof that not all disco-funky-late-'70's stuff blew
yellow-soft-focused balls. And the live reprise of "Maggot Brain" on
here owns the original.
Alan Jackson Like Red on a Rose--The best goddamn covers album I've
ever heard (out of two). Late night torch song sadness that has no
business ruling so much in the late 2000's. Yeah most Alan Jackson
fans don't like it too much, but then again, considering most Alan
Jackson fans, that's a very good sign.
LL Cool J Radio--Old school hipptiy-hoppity rap from an '80's man that
likes to talk over a beat about how much he rules. Not as
intellectualoid as Beastie Boys, but more catchy. It's not designed
to appeal to "college kids," though, so you Beck fans might wanna stay
away (unless you're me, because I'm consistent like that.)
Miles Davis Steamin'--Cool jazz.
Lee Scratch Perry Super Ape--So far the only reggae album that doesn't
bore me straight out. Monotonous like they all are, yes, but freaky
and smoky and jungley and dark. Mark, you might like this if you
listen while really wired or after watching one of the Transporter
Ah. . . good! This is quite an enjoyable album here (or enjy lbum, as
I typed the first time when the automatic refresher interrupted
me)--better than the other two albums I've heard from Fugazi, at any
rate. Many Fugazi fans seem prone to assessments along the lines of
"all their albums are awesome, and ten times better than anything else
around in corporate swine music nowadays, capitalist merchandise suck,
but I like this one the best, corporate kiss ass balls," but it seems
evident that the band designed this album as a cohesive piece ten
times more than their others, so I rate it way above 13 Songs and Red
Medicine. Half the songs are just mildly enjoyable interestingness,
but they all fit together like a glove, and the fifth song owns, so
Also, for all you Fugazi fans out there, Pink's I'm Not Dead album
also gets 8.5. Yeah most of the songs follow the predictable
soft-ominous-verse-loud-bombastic-chorus pattern, and the girl does
too many goddman melismas for her own good, but there's some
interesting guitar tonal stuff going on beneath all the gloss and
glitter. Because it makes so many Fugazi fans' day to say this, I
will mention Pink's guitar players and Ian McKaye in the same
Blueprint: Live '90 - Bootleg
Okay, am I nuts... or just smelly and wrinkly with a big penis dangling over my body?
But you know me, I'm always duck-fuckin around. You know, Fugazi's studio records have incredible sound, with all the instruments mixed super-loud, heavy, clear, bright and perfectly stereo-balanced. So why even bother with monophonic, muddy bootleg live recordings like this? If that ringing endorsement isn't enough, it also features 3 S/T EPs, 4 Margin Walkerss, 1 3 Songs EP, 7 Repeaters, and 4 at-the-time-unreleased Steady Diet Of Nothings. And I'll tell ya what; that band Fugazi sure did progress into geniuses over the years. You hear this early stuff and you're like "Hey! Anthemic post-punk rock!" and "Hey! Sorta ska/dub-informed post-punk!" And some of it was already super-smart of course, but dude even by Steady Diet, there'd never be anything as simplistic as "Bulldog Front" or "Bad Mouth." They got much more challenginger over the years. I'm sleepy.
I'm always sleepy. I've been on Effexor and Gabitril for quite some time (years) and one of the ways it keeps me from worrying and obsessing is by keeping my energy level at around 3 out of 5,000,0000. And I've mentioned this to my drug prescriber a few different times, hinting that maybe a smaller dose would be better, but her response is always, "You need to go to bed before 10:00 PM and wake up no later than 6:00 AM or you'll lose your job, get a divorce and die." And what the hell kind of universe is this woman living in where I even get out of Tae Kwon Do class before 10:00 PM? Then I gotta shower, eat dinner, dick around, and by the time I hit the sack it's already morning! And here's the punchline to this anecdote. This last time I went to see her, I wasn't in the mood to hear about how I should go to bed at 3 in the afternoon so I didn't even bother mentioning my constant fatigue and difficulty getting up in the morning (why, just yesterday I slept through the alarm and didn't wake up until Henry The Dog cried at me nearly four hours later! Don't tell my boss, if you please!). So she reads my chart and says, "Is the Effexor still working for you?" And I says, "Yep." And she says (here's the punchline), "You know, it's really amazing. When Effexor isn't the right drug for somebody, it tends to make them very sleepy. But when it's the right drug, as in your case, that side effect never occurs!" I was in kind of a hurry so I didn't stab her in the eye with my keys.
But Fugazi isn't sleepy; they're playing good ol' rock and roll. The mix stinks; it's definitely not a mixboard tape. Sounds like an illegal person hid a tape recorder in his jacket. The bass is fine, but the guitars are completely buried and mixed together. I'd hate for somebody who's never heard the band to find this tape in the middle of the street, because it makes them sound no good. Also I don't know why Ian has to keep rapping about sweet cocaine between every song, it's tacky.
Joe Lally does a great job as always, with his thick heady bass lines carrying the songs to their respective post-meridian roustabouts. But I can tell by the tone he's playing his Jack Daniels Bottle bass which I think is inappropriate considering the concert was a benefit for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome People (FASP). Also I thought it was rude of Ian to change the lyrics of "Suggestion" to "Why can't I walk down the street free of suggestion? 'Cuz I'm a hot horny slut with BIG JIGGLY TITS!!!!" and then invite all the ladies in the audience onstage for a wet t-shirt contest, I mean maybe it was fun if you were there but it's a real drag to sit there for 20 minutes listening to Guy Picciotti chanting "Wet Sloshy Jugs! Wet Sloshy Jugs!" Also the drummer Brendan Canty is a talented man so I don't know why he had to keep stopping in the middle of songs and refusing to continue until somebody came up and bought a t-shirt or poster. That wasn't very nice.
It's sad that they couldn't recreate the "Repeater" sireny noise live, but that's okay; at least they play it, which they don't even do with "Suggestion." Ian ruins "Blueprint" by changing the pissed-off "Never mind what they're selling - it's what you're buying" chorus into a sing-songy piece a crap. And "Styrofoam" doesn't work when you can barely hear the slidey ascending guitar noise. Also Ian keeps stopping his vocals mid-line to suck on his marijuana bong, which gets obnoxious after a while. And Guy shouldn't have gone off on that tirade about how all the other DC bands are "a bunch of pussies" who "wouldn't know real rock and roll if it fucked them in the ass" and that "actually they wouldn't even feel it because their rectal canals are 52 inches wide because of all the sodomy they've undertaken over the years" because "they're gay." There were little kids there.
"Margin Walker" sounds kinda messy, but it's nice of Guy to dedicate "Bulldog Front" to "our friends in So Much Hate, who went through Hell and high water to get to the show." It wasn't so nice of Joe Lally to then brag about how he balled the So Much Hate drummer's wife on their last stop in San Diego, and to describe her tattoo and birthmark right there where everybody could hear it. But "Two Beats Off" is a cool, weird song so it was neat that they played that one.
Not so neat that it ended with two members of the band literally beating off all over the front row.
I say stick with the studio material. It's not like any of their stage banter is worth hearing, especially Brendan Canty's constant shrieks of "If you don't speak English, then get the hell out of my country!" Come on, it's not foreigner's fault they can't speak English, it's a hard language. Hey Brendan - as the Easybeats once sang, "Do you have a heart? Do you have a soul? Do you have a love that never grows old?" The last part doesn't mean anything; they just couldn't think of a word that rhymes with 'soul'. I would have said something about a 'toilet bowl,' but you know me! Still, at least I didn't kick that girl in the face during "And The Same" like Ian MacKaye did. She was just trying to hand you a flower Ian, come on.
But I guess it's true what they say: Lock up your daughters and hide your drugs when Fugazi comes to town! Also your matches because they purposely set the building on fire at the end of "Burning Too," killing over 100 people. I didn't think that was very funny even though Guy kept giggling about the "crusty anarcho-punks" in the audience. Also, I was sad to learn that all their album covers have had typesetting errors and the band's name is actually "Fag Uzi." And yes I thought it was cool when AC/DC had a big rocket prop for "Heatseeker," but come on nobody's 'gaydar' is that good, especially in a room that crowded.
The bottom line is that when Fugazi finally fulfills their promise to kill themselves onstage on Halloween 2007, I won't be the saddest bit upset. And shame on those audience members who ripped up the puppies that Joe Lally threw out in a bag.
Add your thoughts?
Steady Diet Of Nothing - Dischord
Again, regardless of the incredibly self-deprecating
album title, this is a great record. It's a little different, though. It's
real real mellow, for some reason. You still got your quiet bass-and-drum
moments followed by loud buzzy guitar attacks, but the whole sound is one of
exhaustion and lazy contemplation of possible future bouts with anger and
depression. Of course, I'm projecting, but that's hardly the poop. The poop
is that, if you're lookin' to rock the town down and smilingly bang your NYHC
skin flute, this isn't the Fugger album you want. This one's for reefer
smokers and nap takers.
It's still great, though. The guitar interplay is
their finest yet (dig stereo attacks like "Long Division" and "Exit Only") and
there are still definitely moments of bombastic R 'n' R, but the attempt to
try a new sorta thing is super-successful. It's what a band's gotta do to
stay important. Beatles, for example! You don't hear too much about the Dave
Clark Five these days, do you? Hah? There's lots of great melodies on here,
almost postmodern minimalist approach to music-making transforms the whole
project into an intellectually-stimulating thesis on the doctrine of oh, I'm
making all this crap up. I hated Steady Diet when it came out, and it
still makes my girlfriend fall asleep from sheer boredom, but I've grown to
love the damn thing. Great stuff, if you've got the heart rate control to
deal with it. And I know there are some of you who may consider Fugazi's
lyrics to be a little preachy, but to you guys I'll just pose this one
question: how the heck can you even tell what they're talking about??? "Out
of the ashtray, into the ashtray/There's nothing living, there's nothing
given, weekender's vision turns to working shoes????" Those self-righteous
Add your thoughts?
- Reader Comments
- loginID@newschool.edu (Network User)
You are so right. This album is Godhead. Tell me you don't throw a rod
every time "Runaway Return" quiets down and then kicks back in,
introduced by Guy barking "WELCOME BACK!" God I love it. Why did you
not mention "KYEO (Keep Your Eyes Open?)"? Bless Ian's heart for this
fuck you to the Persian Gulf War. It rocks so hard, it makes me want to
break bottles on my face.
- email@example.com (Chris Schwarz)
Steady Diet Of Nothing seems to be the least popular Fugazi album
among Fugazi fans. Fugazi home pages with
user surveys all show SDON being voted last, and practically every
Fugazi fan I've talked to has
said that this album is their least favourite. Why? This album is
excellent, even by Fugazi's standards.
It contains some of the best songs Fugazi's ever put together ("Exit Only,"
"Reclamation," "Latin Roots,"
"Long Division," "Polish," "KYEO," and the superb instrumental "Steady Diet
Of Nothing"), and basically
shows the ever-evolving musical prowess of the band. People complain about
this album being too mellow
or too "weird," but I just don't hear it. Sure, it's not as noise-driven
and earachingly loud as 13
Songs, Repeater (Gufazi's best, I think!), or In On The Kill
Taker, but it's
still awfully loud and abrasive. I mean, it's STILL a Fugazi album and the
trademark wall of guitar noise is still there! Hey -- this ain't no
sippin' tea! All of Fugazi's albums are great in their own right and each
demand to be listened to with an open mind, but perhaps none more so than
Steady Diet Of Nothing. It's different, but that's not a bad thing now, is
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jacques Tremblay)
The least powerful album. The songs are brilliant, but it takes time to
really enjoy them.
The second song, the fourth song and "KYEO" are the best ones, even if most
of the songs are more than listenable.
I just got this album and I do think its great, but its their least
immediately enjoyable record because everything is so amelodical. "KYEO" is an
old-fashioned rocker and so is "steady diet" but the other songs, like "long
division" (why the hell was that song made like that? it could have built up to
an awesome chorus!) and "polish" are weird as hell. As I said, its probably
their weakest album, but it's still worth getting because, it's Fugazi, after
I would like to take back everything I said in my above-listed post. I now
flip out over this album. I was, initially, underwhelmed but on repeated
listenings I found out that the songwriting is phenomenal, save for the
unbelievably shitty song "Polish". "Stacks", "Reclamation", "KYEO" and
"Runaway Return" are altogether amazing, and have a slippery, un-Fugazi-like
sheen to them, which makes sure they never get tiresome.
- email@example.com (James L. Tichenor)
Thank god there are people out there who appreciate this album. Tho
a little weed helps it along, you definately dont need to be a space
cadet to enjoy this album. Steady Diet has to be one of the most
inventive and anxiety filled instrumental jams ever. These guys clearly
know how to play off one another. For those who are reading these
comments and never heard the Fugazis before, it helps to have heard some
early SY before you listen to this. I believe there's some inluence at
work hear, but make no mistake, Fugazi has a unique sound. Steady Diet
of Nothing is a great album that makes up for lack of song pacing with
raw honest music and lyrics..
i must agree with most of the previous quasi-crits, steady diet is quite
unjustly unappreciated by a majority of fugazi fans. but, then again, i think
red medicine is excellent (maybe their best), which is usually regarded as
the second worst.
Steady Diet is my favorite. Most likely because it was the first I
ever got to listen to. And fuck what anyone else says, this shit is energetic.
Look me in the eye and say that "Runaway Return," or "Latin Roots" or "KYEO"
don't rock like mad bandits. Fuck, even the somber "Long Division," has
quite a bit of kick to it. Tell me that "Exit Only" or the title track don't start
your booty movin'. No, there aren't any thrashy, screamy,
vein-popping-outta-yer-forehead moments, (that is once we've
excommunicated "Polish" from the track listing. Even Ian refuses to play that one
live!) but that don't mean it don't "kick ass" in Prindle-speak. And this one
kicks my ass all over the place.
I finally picked up a copy of Steady Diet despite the fact that it is one of
their least appreciated efforts among Fugazi fans. In my opinion, this bad
boy is their most underrated work. All of the songs are a bit longer with
slightly slower tempos. Nevertheless, the intensity is without a doubt still
present with the buzing guitars, driving beats, and in-your-face production.
The title track really kicks ass into a state of perpetual chaotic anger and
Nice New Outfit really tears into yuppie American jackasses. Let's here it
for noise! Fugazi isn't your average measily post-punk band I might add.
They are often hard to classify because every album has its own defining
characteristics. Any band can get studio time and use the same lame-ass punk
rock beat and time signature but Fugazi has more brains than that.
- Gale@beer.com (Nick Gale)
Rather under-rated, in my opinion - aside from the godawful 'Polish'
and the rather boring 'Reclamation', which is just the sort of
average Fugazi-by-numbers track everybody except me seems to like,
there really isn't a weak song. 'Runaway Return' rocks like only one
of my favourite Fugazi songs can. 'Exit Only', 'Dear Justice
Letter', 'KYEO', the chorus to 'Stacks'...all fantastic. It does
suffer from being a little more subdued than their other albums, but,
that aside, it's pretty excellent.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Glenn Lester)
I can see why it's considered their worst disc, but
it's probably the most crucial release in the whole Fugazi catalog. Here is
where they left behind slightly preachy, funky noise-rock for amazing guitar
interplay, more oblique lyrics, and all sorts of instrumental texture,
pointing the way to the rest of the Fugazi career. "Polish" sucks, but every
other song is a classic. "KYEO" (We will not be beaten down!) is one of my
top five Fugazi songs. That first line in "Reclamation" is amazing: "These
are our demands: We want control of our bodies." Another 9/10.
I know I have said this before on music babble but THANK YOU MARK PRINDLE!!!! I got fugazi's repeater and it is really great, slow and emoish but really rhythmic and
angry with difficult lyrics, I gotta look more into this band.
In On The Kill Taker - Dischord 1993
Another left turn. Their angriest, noisiest record
yet!!!! Real catchy, though. Like a really bitter, p-o'd Repeater.
At the time, I hated it. After the dazzling mellow bellows of Steady
Diet, I was irritated and bored by the blatant Fugazi-isms blastin' out
all over the dang joint. Plus, Ian appears to be losing his voice a bit, his
classic emotional scream reduced to a muppet-esque scraggly belch.
Then I set
it aside for about six months, came back to it, and realized that every song is a
winner. It may be noisy (especially the extended double-feedback drum-click
coda to "23 Beats Off"), but there are great hooks all over this place, both
musical and vocal. For great punk-influenced smash-em-up, try "Great Cop."
For the dark moody feel of old, give "Last Chance For A Slow Dance" or "Sweet
And Low" a quick whirl. Or, if you just wanna get a line or two stuck in your head, give a
moment's attention to the "right out, right out, right out, right out, right
out" refrain in "Smallpox Champion" or the pretty pop singalong "Instrument."
This record might have just been their attempt to prove that they could still
kick out the jams, but it's much more creative than most albums of that breed,
so I tend to assume instead that they just happened to be in a loud mood the
day they went in the studio! It's amazing to me how they can stay so close to
a particular style while still coming up with so darn many different sorts of
melodies, but I suppose that's what differentiates a "band" from a "great
band." Fugazi = great band.
Add your thoughts?
- Reader Comments
- email@example.com (Carson Hoovestol)
This was my first "punk" record. I was in the 7th grade. Sure, I'd
listened to Nirvana, Nine Inch Nails, and even Dead Kennedys, but this
was it. In On The Killtaker opened the door to indie rock for me. It
had such an edge to it. There is no other album that sounds close.
Although I don't listen to it much now, I think this is the singular
record that changed my musical tastes forever. I want to see these guys
live very badly.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jacques Tremblay)
The most powerful album. Bonebreaking for the most part. I guess this is
their best effort, along with RED MEDiCINE. The first song,
is totally sublime, with a great beginning, powerful verses and the best
this is probably my least favorite fugazi album, but thats not saying
anything. i love all their albums, including this one. i love it to forkin'
hell! (as prindle would say) "facet squared", "walken's syndrome" and
"cassavetes" are awesome as are all the others. but prindle hit it on the head
when he said that ian's voice sounds shitty on this one. i don't know what the
problem was, because on red medicine and end hits, ian's voice sounds just
like it did in Minor Threat. oh well, whatever. the ending to "walken's
syndrome" is the best, as is the ending to "smallpox champion". only crappy
song is "rend it".
- email@example.com (Christian Folmar)
In On The Kill Taker was the very first Fugazi record I ever heard and is
still the one I come back to the most (with End Hits being an oh-so-close
second). After having purchased all the other releases, both prior to and
following Kill Taker, I don't know if it's their strongest or their most
accesible or just the most memorable, but it's the only one I can remember
all the words to, and for someone who can't even memorise their own lyrics,
that's a big deal. It's my favourite sunny-day record by them. Not like
Sunny Day Real Estate. I don't pretend to know the first fucking thing
about them, Foo Fighters connections aside. But Red Medicine, End
and Steady Diet are my rainy-day records and Kill Taker and
are my sunny-day records. I'll explain later. 13 Songs is my I-
bought-it-to-have-both-Fugazi-and-Margin Walker-on-the-same-disc record
because my cassettes are all falling apart from over-usage. Anyhoo, Kill
Taker still means the world to me, especially after I got the whole band to
sign my copy last year when I saw them on tour in Nebraska(!!!). I've also
just discovered that Repeater is a masterpiece, if a little
- address unknown (KillMemanC)
Having heard Fugazi's 1993 installment (IN ON THE KILL TAKER) when it
was first released filled me with so much optimism as regards to the
institution that Fugazi is an integral part of. The institution that I speak of is
Dischord Records. This record label releases some of the most exciting
music that the majority of this planet will never hear because the music is
not geared towards the notion of pleasing the general public. Instead the
music is made for the sake of making music that can be filled with so much
In On The Kill Taker is a modern masterpiece as regards to the world
of music. The first song "facet squared" is a harsh song exemplified by
the tense guitar playing at the beginning right up until the end. The song
keeps building and of course there is a simple message of the wrongness of
division expressed by Ian MacKaye's shouting vocal style. There is a
consistent thrash guitar element throughout the first five songs of the
album. The instrumental is an expression of the phrase "sweet and low"
that has been used to title it. The song "cassavetes" is critical in
relation to the perception and the understanding that we possess concerning
Hollywood. The rest of the songs on the album are deeper and heavier in lyrical
content and on ocassion sound, for example the brutal sound of "great cop" and
heaviness of "instrument". The last song reflects on the imagery of
coffins, death, and illness. I am near sure Guy has been reading the literary
works of an author whose name is on the tip of my tongue. He used quite a lot of coffin imagery in his work.
The mood of the album is dark, deep, and morose. There are images of
death and destruction and illness. The album is often played on my stereo
particularly when the weather reflects the mood of the song. It is
fuelled by emotion and passion by four men who live to indulge in music and
I can't decide whether or not In On The Kill Taker is really good, or
if it's fucking amazing. I can't say I particularily care for any of Ian's
songs, though I don't dislike "Returning The Screw" or "Great Cop" as much as
I used to, but everything Guy touches on this record turns to gold. "Public
Witness Program" is probably their best song ever: rippin' punk rock, biting
social commentary, super-catchy hook, guitar riffs from hell, and handclaps,
all within the space of two minutes and two seconds. Beat that with a
stick! "Smallpox Champion" adapts the same ideas, and expands them to four
minutes, and adds some crazy dynamic shifts. Yeah. "Rend It" makes me cry every
time. It's that good. "Cassavettes" is a sloppy, funky, I don't know man,
but it works ten times better than anything from the first record. "Walken's
Syndrome" is just great, and "Last Chance For A Slow Dance" is only
edged out by "Shut The Door" for the coveted title of best Fugazi ballad ever.
Actually, I don't really think that Ian's songs are all that bad, but
just about anything pales in comparison to some of the things Guy's cooked
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Stuart Willis)
Much better than their earlier, more contrived releases. I hated that
stop-start arsery of Repeater that always threatened to get going but never
did. Here Fugazi stop trying to 'push the envelope' and rock out instead!
They retain their unique sound, but make it so much more enjoyable to
listen to. 'Facet Squared' is punk perfecto; 'Smallpox Champion' is a
classic just waiting to be discovered; 'Instrument' proves intensity has fuck all
to do with speed; 'Walken's Syndrome' mixes ideas and riffs with amazing
results. Fans of punk and/or hardcore need this album. If you heard
Repeater and hated it, don't worry. This is FAR superior.
- email@example.com (James L. Tichenor)
This was definintely their best work thus far. These guys are
geniuses, and a band that progresses so much between each record that it
is impossible not to notice the growth. Every song is a keeper, and the
flow of the album is perfect. It features one of their best
instrumentals and some of their best noise guitar work. The drummer
kicks oodles of ass and the pop hooks really hook you. It's like they
fucked around with the dynamics of descending and ascending sound on the
previous two records in different ways and then brought it together on
this record in one fantastic whole. I think they became better singers
as well- not quite as throaty but very well done. Impressive lyrics,
impressive music. This is what all bands should do for you.
Yeah, it's probably their angriest record...But you know what makes me angry. Some Fugazi fans make me angry! A prime example can be
found on the Instrument video/dvd. You know who I'm talking about: the mouthbreathin "punk rocker" gettin all testosteroney towards the
filmmaker. Another example was found on this album's tour. So I'm buying some coffee with a friend about two hours before the show starts. I
see a young man, panhandling with his friends, exclaiming that any spare change would help him eat that evening. Point taken, the world is
rough, deepest sympathies. Two hours later, I'm digging the sounds of opening band Slant 6 (another great Dischord alumni) when I see said
panhandler moving towards the concession stand to spend his "food" money on Pepsi products. We all know Fugazi's politics and ethics. We all
know that Fugazi shows are priced low enough to get in without resorting to begging. I wanted to rail on this guy so bad for standing against
everything that these D.C. heroes represented. No help thy neighbor ethics, just selfishness and lies just so he wouldn't have to pay a mere five
spot to see a rock show. That's anger. Other than that, the show was awesome and In On The Kill Taker is another top-notch Fugazi release.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Glenn Lester)
The first two songs make my want to jump around the
room, and "Instrument" and "Slow Dance" are great closers. Ian's songs aren't
quite up to snuff ("Returning the Screw" and "23 Beats Off" are a little too
formless for me), so Guy steals the show (which he seems to do quite a bit on
the next few records). Still, an amazing record--dig the bass-led "Sweet and
Low" followed by the 13 songs-esque "Cassavetes". 9/10.
Red Medicine - Dischord 1995.
The first 'difficult' Fugazi record. Fugazi doin' the Thinking
Fellers, if you've ever heard the Thinking Fellers. Have you ever heard the
Thinking Fellers? Oooh! The Thinking Fellers! So anyway, about half of this
record sounds like Fugazi doing what they do best at the topnotch quality level
we expect from them - intense guitar-heavy bouncy pop/rock with anthemic
vocals and cute little quirks that make you go "oooh!" with or without the
But the other half don't sound like Fugazi at all! "Do You Like Me"
sounds like Unrest trying to play a Motley Crue cover, "By You" is a drony hypnotic
cock grunge thing sung by who knows who, "Target" is improvisational JAZZ or
something with this wild echoed french horn or some crap breepin' and brappin'
all over the place, "Back To Base" is catchier than late-'80s Fall (if you've
ever heard The Fall. Have you ever heard The Fall? Oooh! The Fall!), and "Latest
Disgrace" and "Fell, Destroyed" sound like.... well, like an unbelievably
smart and creative band recording a couple of weirdly-arranged melancholy
tunes that are bound to be ignored by everybody except music geeks like me who
point at the little sectioned part of the groove and go, "Neat! A song that's
never been written before!"
Perhaps not all of the experiments are as aurally
pleasing as one's normal everyday pop music (the irritatingly herky-jerky
"Birthday Pony," for example, can rest its finger in my a-hole, and "Do You
Like Me" is definitely more interesting than listenable.), but darn it,
without experimentation (and this is only LIGHT experimentation by the way.
It's just Fugazi not sounding like Fugazi - it's not noise or anything.
Most of it is totally accessible.), we're condemned to a musical existence
consisting solely of Pearl Jam (or, as I like to call them, "Bad Company"),
Alanis Morissette, and the countless millions who imitate them. Perhaps I overuse the
paranthesis (suck my ass).
Good band, that Fugazi, if you've ever heard them.
Have you ever heard them? Oooh! Them!
Add your thoughts?
- Reader Comments
- email@example.com (Peter Nicholson)
This album I bought about three months ago. It was twenty bucks (I am
from Australia- import prices etc.) and I was told by my cousin that
I would like it. I bought it, listened to it, and listened to it, and
listened to it until I realized that the reason why I loved this album
so much is that it is just the most incredibly melodic, but melancholy
music i've heard since I bought my first ever tape when I was seven.
By the way Fugazi were meant to be playing tonight, not far from where
I live, but they cancelled. Pity. I think they would be an excellent
FUCK YEA! FUGAZI RULES! THEY ARE AMONG MY FAV BANDS. ONLY THING - THEY NEED
TO TOUR THE WEST MORE. I WANNA SEE THEM LIVE!!!!!!!!!!!
- Keekster@hotmail.com (Cameron Thornton)
I saw Fugazi last March and i actually loved them. I first heard a local
band (actually my best friend's boyfriend and his cronies) Local
Opposition playing "Long Division". I liked the way it sounded even
though Joe Morgan (the boyfriend) couldn't sing worth a damn. So i
bought the tape. Now I own everything by them and all the previous stuff
like Embrace and Minor Threat...etc. I wanted to intern at Dischord
this January, but went to NYC instead. I suppose if you don't understand
punk at all, this type of music doesn't appeal too much, but even
without the dyed hair and the nipple rings....i appreciate the sincere
lyrics of this band. Ian Mackaye is a god. I adore him, but I wish they
would play closer to where I live. If you have any more info on
Dischord, I'd love to have it.
Suggest this.... Fugazi tours more than most bands. I really like the
guitar on "Bed For The Scraping." If I'm angry I can listen to it. If I'm
happy I can listen to it. I listened to this album for three straight
months and never tired of it or anything. Buy it, hear it, breath it,
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Khrystynah Foster)
my friends insisted that i go with them to see fugazi, even though i had
never heard one of their albums. i'm such a live music junkie, and
i ended up loving it. they are completely punkrock, i mean blowing off
the corps and all by not going mainstream. yeah, i got the cd at the show
and it hasn't left my car, i listen to it all the time...
- email@example.com (Carson Hoovestol)
Red Medicine is the Fugazi record for me. I love the Fellers comparison.
You really put your finger on it. The vibe on here is melancholy. That
is the exact way I describe it to friends. These songs are the ones that
would change lives live.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jacques Tremblay)
Very mature album. Very diversified and mostly great songs. Their sound
isn't so complicated, but the songs sound like no other band. Just like all
the FUGAZI albums, you just don't seem to get bored of it. FUGAZI, clearly
one of the best bands (if not the best) in alternative music.
- email@example.com (Elliot Imes)
A 7 or an 8. Some of the songs are just so inverted and untraditional
that I can never remember how they go. But I do like "Do You Like Me" a
lot. And how can you not mention "Bed For the Scraping"? That's
probably the finest rock song on there! I DON'T WANNA BE
DEFEATED!!!..... Brilliant! And kill me for saying this, but I like
"Birthday Pony." It's funky. Awww yeahhhh. Jump back. Kiss myself.
This is their album that is the closest to my heart, because it is the one
that made me love this band. The first time I heard "Bed For The Scraping" I
was overwhelmed by the sheer intensity of it. All the other songs are great,
with absolutely no exception, and the album seems like it was worked on for a
long time, as opposed to In On The Killtaker, which seems rather hastily
thrown together (but still very good, mind you). This may sound weird to
anyone reading this, but on the past two Fugazi albums, I rate each "row" of
songs on the back of the CD. For example, "row 1" of Red Medicine starts with
"Do you like me" and ends with "Birthday Pony", etc. Row 3 of this album is so
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Lester)
fugazi is cool. i like red medicine a lot. it's got good mellow songs
and good fast songs. oh yeah!
- email@example.com (Thomas Rickert)
It is hard to explain what makes this my favorite Fugazi record, but it
*is* my favorite Fugazi record, and that makes me wonder why it isn't
everyone's favorite Fugazi record. It is kinda weird though --
experimental. I think that is why I like it so much. I like to think
of this as their Yes record. Sure, that is a complete non sequitur.
They sound nothing like Yes. But nevertheless. Something about it
makes me think of the noisy, atonal passages on Close to the Edge.
I'll bet absolutely no one else on the planet hears that connection
though, but so what: the fact that I could be completely making it up
only makes it that much more thrilling. So, please don't chase the
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Marc Flynn)
red medicine is the album that re-interested me in fugazi. i have the
early shit -- and grooved to waiting room one to many times in my room when
i was 15 ... thought it was great, but it was enough, never encouraged me to
buy more. I caught some snipppets of red medicine at a friends and i
it was like the band had completely changed itself. the obsession wth
driving song forms was gone! hail experimentation! more personal lyrics !
this album kicks on so many levels. the fuzz/gruff at the start of "do you
like me" is the signal -- this is not a linear album. they reach the apec
during "target" with its embrace the 70's baseline and cutting guitar. and
perhaps mr. mackaye putting his tongue right through his cheek with "that i
hate the sound of guitars/ a thousand grudging millionaries" which i thought
was "encroaching millionaries" the first time i heard it and still wish
mackaye had wrote it that way.
anyways, kiddos, gramps, mom and pops -- this is the one for you -- the
sound of a band reaching their creative paramount, alowing the instruments
to ply them as much as they play the instruments.. .
- email@example.com (Adam Bruneau)
Damn! These guys fookin' rock! My favorites are "Birthday Pony" and the
epic "Long Distance Runner" but this album is just too good to be narrowed
down to favorites. What a hard rock masterpiece. Limp Bizkit? Korn? Kid
Rock? Blink-182? Don't make me laugh...
- LJW@Mail.amsa.gov.au (Lachlan Watt)
I don't know why Red Medicine gets such a hiding from fans - "Long Distance
Runner" has to be THE best and most intense Fugazi song yet recorded, and
anyone who's heard Fugazi will know that ain't an easy call to make. This
album took a while to grow on me, but it now takes first place in my mind as
best Fugazi album, tied of course with Repeater, and maybe even End
Hits, depending on what kind of week its been. Fugazi's ideas and sound
remind me a lot of the Minutemen (another favourite group of mine), but
unfortunately they aren't half as prolific as Mike Watt and co. used to be.
Regarding "By You" - in the "Instrument" video there's some footage of some
guy in the studio singing the "You're in control and you should know/Don't
say you're along for the ride" line who definitely isn't Guy or Ian. Maybe
Joe or one of the Cohen brothers? Strange that they didn't credit whoever it
was in the liner notes.
BTW, much respect for the site, mang. I used to deal with a lot of abusive
and disagreeable email as part of my old job, so of course I quit in
spectacular fashion. And you don't even get paid for this? Rock on...
Red Medicine has a lot of shit talked about it. Why? There's
something for everyone. Want hyper-hardcore punk rock? There's "Back To Base," and
"Downed City." "Do You Like Me?" and "Target" have the bases covered for super
cathy Guy-led pop-rockers, as does "Bed For The Scraping" even though it's
one of Ian's. "Forensic Scene" is the long-lost cousin of "Rend It," Fuck,
even if you're a Soundgarden fan, you'll dig "By You," which is indeed sung by
Chris Cornell. I mean Joe Lally. Sorry about that. The only thing I don't
like is all the interludes inbetween every song. This album needs an editor.
Oh, and "Birthday Pony," throw THAT beat in the garbage can.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Glenn Lester)
My favorite disc by my favorite band. 10/10. After the second
verse of "Forensic Scene" where the guitars take over on the chorus
progression is probably my favorite ever Fugazi moment. Red Medicine is full
of moments like that: Ian whispering "I'm...not here...at...all" in "Birthday
Pony," the feedback 'solo' in "Target," the way the intro to "Do You Like Me"
just breaks down into the actual song. God, an amazing record.
My introduction to this amazing band(hey, we's all gotta start somewhere). And personally, I don't see what's so "difficult" about it, although it does
have it's (fleeting!)moments of irritatingness(such as that dueling guitar-noise symphony at the end of "By You," an otherwise superb song) now and
again. Catchy, loud, energetic, emotive, creative and kickass, the entire thing just blew me the fuck away. Each and every one of these songs are/is/be's
amazingly well-written and brilliantly executed. I mean, the first time I listened to Red Medicine, I played the whole thing FRONT-TO-BACK, without
feeling the need to utilize the "skip" button on my cd player even once. Which is something that I NEVER EVER do when I've got a new cd. The only
fault I can find with the album is that Ian doesn't sing enough, only on 4 songs. Not that I don't dig the Guy-sung songs; they kick ass too. But
something about his voice just tickles the living fuck out of my fancy and makes me want to hear it again and again. Just listen to those screams at the
end of "Bed For The Scraping": "LOOK AROOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUND!" Fucking orgasmic. I give it a 9.
I think your reviews are spot on, however, I have to point out that the song with "improvisational JAZZ or something with this wild echoed french horn or some crap breepin' and brappin' all over the place" is actually called "Version", and not "Target", as the review suggests. I'm sure you knew that already, but I just wanted to point that out to you.
I wish you all the best,
Heh. Hya hyuh. "First" difficult Fugazi album. Uhngh. "First."
God those indie kids with their drugs.
I wonder. How would my musical brain think had I grown up in urban
workin' class "SKRONK!" DC instead of the bland nostalgic "I LOVE BOB
SEGER!!" ass suburbs of Kansas "Fucking" City, I wonder? Ooh! I
know! I, too, would refer to a Fugazi album as "pop-rock" and
"accessible"!!! WOW WHAT A WONDERFULLY WEIRD ALTERNATE REALITY!!!
Sorry about the capital letters there, Prind. I guess, where some
people hear "brainy pop," "witty rock and roll," and "How Popular
Music Should Be," I instead hear a lot of weird weird god fucking
weird guitar noisy noise racket from Noiseville and some sociology
student that smokes a lot screaming absurdist artsy poetry on top.
Granted, it's GOOD noise, but dammit, it's still noise. At least to
me. We need music like this from time to time, but it seems crystal
fucking clear why stuff like this never hit the charts
Oh wait, nevermind, it actually reached #126 on Billboard. Fuckin'
I like "By You" because it seems rather emotional, despite being as
anti-pop and noisy screamy yarrgh as everything else on here. And
"Target" seems rather bouncy and catchy and oingy boingy by this
band's standards. And the album as a whole is tons better than that
13 Songs nonsense. It's not high art or anything, but it's
interesting, despite being noisy noise from the Noise of Noisenoise.
I give it an 8.
Is this the only non-totally praiseworthy comment for the album?
Without looking at the reader comments, I will assume yes.
Live At Fort Reno 8/29/97 - Bootleg 1997.
I think I'll start this review with a joke, to lighten the mood. What do a submarine and Dick Cheney's mouth have in common?
They're both full of seamen!
Fugazi set out to have a guy illegally record this bootleg, they had one thing in mind: Play great songs from throughout their career. And not a soul can deny that this is exactly
what they did. From 1956's "Burning" through to what at the time was one of their newest songs "Pink Frosty," they were out to show the world that even though they began
their career as an attempt to fuse the hippy satire of The Fugs with the satanic imagery of Ozzy, they had developed a sound all their own, which can be summed up in one
This disc has good sound considering it's a bootleg, but when you're used to the pristine clear loud crisp power of their studio recordings, it seems a little dulled and
murky. No matter! The awesome guitar interplay is tight as a belt on Roseanne Barr's long-forgotten-about body and the 21 songs are so good, I shit myself.
starts with "Birthday Pony," which may very well be the only Fugazi song that I don't like at all. But it goes right into "Do You Like Me?" and it's all up a hill from that point
forward! "Repeater" has some weirdass feedback effect, "Pink Frosty" is still amazingly slow and filled with trepidation, "Bed For The Scraping" still has that wild guitar
break that sounds like Jimmy Page's "Radioactive" break converted into correct notes and "Song #1"? Why, that's not a fuck you song!
The first time I saw Fugazi live, I
had a crush on this girl named Dawn that I met at governor's school. It was on the Repeater tour because I'm so cool, I've liked Fugazi since Repeater came
out (I had heard their earlier stuff, but wasn't blown away by it at the time, so I'm even cooler that way). People were shouting out Minor Threat songs, and Ian got
No no, not Ian Fleming, author of the best-selling James Bond suspense series. Ian MacKaye, lead singer and spokesperson for Washington D.C.'s most famous and
long-lived band, Egg Hunt.
He also got mad because kids were slam dancing and since Ian had slamdanced ten years earlier as a kid, it therefore was not okay for kids who
weren't around back then to repeat his action and slam dance on their own. "Can't you come up with a new dance?," he insisted, at which point the entire crowd realized the
error of doing something that he had done ten years earlier when they were too young to do it with him, and worked together for two hours to develop a brand new dance that
mixed the best elements of the waltz (another dance that people shouldn't do anymore because Ian's grandfather did it a long time ago and it was old now) and the Macarena
(which it was okay to do, because it hadn't been invented yet). When all was to Ian's liking and nobody was drinking a cigarette, smoking a beer or having sex with a girl, he
ceased his pouting for half a second and continued the show. Then during "Suggestion," he became overcome by emotional pain as he looked out a crowd that was more
interested in having fun than listening to a bald guy with a gruff voice pretend to be a woman who's been raped, and he left the stage in tears. Because it's very hard for a
sensitive man like Ian MacKaye who spent his youth beating the shit out of everybody who wasn't just like him to understand how a crowd of kids could be so insensitive to
the plight of today's woman, as portrayed by Ian MacKaye.
The second time I saw them, the sound sucked and they kept dragging songs on forever. Quite frankly, sitting
at home listening to this bootleg is about ten times better than either time I saw them! Hopefully your live Fugazi experiences have been better than mine.
One last thing
about Ian MacKaye -- he's no Jello Biafra!
Okay, now I'm going to sit here as punk kids assume that they have any clue what I meant by that and send me angry
Add your thoughts?
- Reader Comments
- email@example.com (Michael J West)
Well, as someone who spends a great deal of time wishing Jello Biafra
would shut the fuck up once in a while, I assume that saying Ian MacKaye
is "no Jello Biafra" must be a gracious compliment! I must admit that
this comment may be out-of-place, because I haven't heard the
bootleg....but I have been to see Fugazi at Fort Reno, and yes, my live
experience of them really was better than your stories. Maybe it was
just playing in their hometown, but Ian and Guy both (but especially
Ian) had a different kind of bond with the audience--the weird "we're
just one of you" kind of bond, where you felt like it coulda just been
four guys from the audience that just decided to hop up on stage and
play a few songs. Broke my heart that they wouldn't be playing this year.
I saw Fugazi a couple years ago and it was an awesome show. You really got your moneys worth in that tickets were like 5 bucks and they played for over three hours (kind of like a Bruce Springsteen concert but good). Ian had no major shitfits at this concert but years later (a couple weeks ago) I was wearing my awesome Minor Threat hooded sweatshirt (because I'm a 26 year old man who dresses like a 14 year old boy) and one of my friends, a lovely girl named Donna, remarked how she met Ian after a Fugazi concert and told him how much Minor Threat meant to her deep in her heart and he responded with something like "THAT'S FUNNY, WHY WOULD YOU TALK ABOUT A BAND THAT'S BEEN DEAD FOR TEN YEARS WHEN YOU'RE SEEING THIS BAND RIGHT NOW" or something rude to that effect. Anyway, it killed a bit of her soul and she's a bitter woman to this day. Sucks for him too because she would have probably like blown him and let him snort coke off her ass or something.
Dear Messr. Mprindle,
I thought I'd respond to the Fugazi - Fort Reno part of your record reviews.
I'll often try to re-live the days of my youth, and this includes talking about Fugazi. Because outside of record stores, rock critic circles and small gatherings of aging punk rock fans, Fugazi is all but legend. Their members are busy playing in other projects, or producing the latest Bob Mould abortio--err-- dance-themed album.
So it's like 2001, I'm feeling nostalgic about rock'n'roll, and I uncover some excellent photos on the internet of the Fort Reno show, but with no date to tell me when they were taken. So being hopelessly out-of-touch and old --but still optomistic-- I think, "Fugazi must play Fort Reno every summer; it's just down the street from them, I'm sure. I'm going to see them there soon."
Several trips to DC later, it becomes apparent I'm just never in the right place at the right time. Now I live here, and they're dormant/defunct. Which is fine. I'd probably rather drink and smoke at a Horton Heat or Hank III show anyway.
End Hits - Dischord 1998.
Fugazi have a certain sound, no doubt about it. But
they don't just sit still twiddlin' their thumbs about it, nor do they appear
to be going out of their way to make catchier music for radio success. Why
should they? The underground has been very good to them. So what's new here?
Well, all the other Fugazi musical approaches are represented here (the
bass-centered phunq of the first couple EPs, the instant pop hooks of
Bigpeter, the moody mellows of Steady Diety, the screaming
bitterness of In On The Upside, and the quirky experimentalism of
Red Medicinematography), but they're bound together with a strong
determination to shlop together a real unsmooth loose experience of musical
whatever. Like, jazzy almost in its looseness. Some of the songs just fall apart in the
middle and start up anew completely unlike what they were like before. The
band is still TIGHT in form and power and strength and all, but they're
also confident enough not to restrict themselves to the "notes" on the "page."
It's very clear in listening that not all of these songs were exactly
complete when the band went to the drawing board. But that's GOOD! That's
improvisation, and it's much more interesting than by-the-numbers pop product.
Good for them! And Miles Davis or some such nonsense!
Plus, yet again,
the band of the hand have managed to come up with a collection of all-new
melodies that you've never before heard on any other record by anybody probably, because regardless
of what Spin will try to tell you, rock music is NOT dead, nor has
"everything already been done." There are billions of great melodies that
have yet to be written. We just need to stop looking to talentless cutiepies
like No Doubt and Alanis Morissette to provide them for us. And rest not
on your laurels -- for sure, when you
see Fugazi live on this tour, the songs will differ yet
the further. For Fugazi are smart. They sit not still. They are improving
the world with their music without even really trying to. And they're just
talented enough to pull it off. This one doesn't even have any annoying
songs like that last one! Just cool, varied, loud, well-produced guitar
interplay. Sounds like Fugazi, but smoking a pipe. You want song titles?
There's a song title for you. Go buy the record for more.
Add your thoughts?
- Reader Comments
This is the trippiest Fugazi release yet. If I didn't no
better, I'd say these guys had
gotten into mother's acid cabinet. Guitar effects are in abundance as are
vocal effects. Fugroovi, dude. It's as hard to listen to at first as any
previous 'gazi which is promising as each of their releases eventually
burrows itself deep into your brain and takes up residence. Now, if they
could just do something about those dangerous slam dancers.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Richard Delgado)
On my first listening of End Hits, I thought that Fugazi had created their
aural Waterloo: experimental music for the sake of experimentation, doomed
to the CD-equivalent of the cut-out bin! Wrong (thank God)! Once you
realize that this band is quite content to throw its laurels on the fire
after every new album, you can really appreciate what they have done.
They've somehow managed to come out with a(nother) non-Fugazi album that
sound JUST like Fugazi. Or is that a Fugazi album that sounds NOTHING like
Fugazi? "Caustic Acrostic" and "Closed Captioned" ALONE are with the price
This is an unbelievably strong album for this band, especially taking in to
account how EVERY ONE of their albums is exceptional. "Break" and "Pink
Frosty" are welcome, calm breaks from the power of the other songs.
"Arpeggiator" is my favorite Fugger instrumental. "Five Corporations" and
"Caustic Acrostic" blow my socks off. "Guilford Fall" and "Foreman's Dog" have
cool, wavy guitar lines. Many say that this album is their most experimental,
but I disagree. Most songs here are rock/punk oriented, the obvious exceptions
being the two I mentioned at the beginning of this. Only complaint I have is
the lack of band pictures in the otherwise awesome booklet. I like to see how
they look now!!! And it seems pretty weird how they scratched out their faces
on the back of the CD. It's just kind of...unsettling. What happened to the
warm, friendly Fugazi of yore? You know, when they were smiling in the photos
of the first two albums!
- email@example.com (Thomas Rickert)
Still haven't gotten this one yet. So I got a budget! So what!
Anyway, all these comments make it sound quite good, so it is next on my
list of purchases.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Gerald Haley)
this is probably my favorite fugazi album. it's amazingly supple and
slippery without being light or boring. right when you think everything has
fallen apart the songs just rebuild themselves even better that they began.
on end hits it sounds like the instruments are playing fugazi. i can't wait
to see what they do next.
End Hits, even though it sounds like a cliche saying it, is more
"sophisticated" and "mature," what Radiohead would sound like if they
were a punk band. Except Radiohead sucks. Still, "Five Corporations" rocks
like a motherfucking motherfucker, though for every rocker, there's a "Pink
Frosty," and Guy has written some amazing shit once again. "Place Position?"
"Caustic Acrostic?" "Foreman's Dog?" FUCK! Anyone notice that though Fugazi
started off at Ian's baby, Guy steals more of the show on every album. The
man's a genius. If he were a woman I'd marry him.
- email@example.com (Bernardo Pacheco)
It's amazing that they did an album this good so far into their career.
Also, by a mile their best produced record, perfect roomy sound. My
favourite parts are the beginnings of "Foreman's Dog" and "No Surprise",
but the whole thing is absolutely consistent.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Thomas Rickert)
Well, I finally got End Hits. And guess what? It's really
cool and groovy. Kinda experimental, but not in the same way
as Red Medicine. It gels better, flows better, like butter.
But it's not butter. It doesn't have quite as much an edge,
though. Still, it is well on its way to becoming my fave
Fugazi. Repeater's still up there, of course, but the later
Fugazi is just so forking cool! How many bands, after being
in the biz for ten years, still live up to themselves, look
themselves in the mirror, and say, hey, I did it my way?
This is, in its own way, god-like. Pure.
End Hits sucks so much it's unbelievable. It sounds like a sucky midwest
post grunge group. Red Medicine and all of their early stuff is really good.
Don't buy this. It sucks.
I was worried that a title like End Hits meant that Fugazi were parting ways and after hearing the release, a panic started to grow. What we
have here, and what other postings have so eloquently pointed out, is a band that continues to challenge themselves. Face it: if they continued
to retread Repeater, we wouldn't be talking about them, or at least we'd be talking about how they should give it a rest. Their progression is
making them one of the most vital units in the past twenty years and, dare I say it, more important that Minor Threat was/is. Sorry dude, but I've
yet to hear a "sucky Midwestern post grunge group" pull off anything as advanced as "End Hits." Enlighten us all with some titles so that the rest
of us can pick it up. Love to hear how much those bands suck too....
- email@example.com (Glenn Lester)
This is the only Fugazi disc that DIDN'T take me weeks to get into.
As a result, I almost never listen to it. Still, the first seven songs are
pretty much perfect, the intro to "Foreman's Dog" is the best example of
classic Fugazi guitar interplay, "Guilford Fall" is one incredible crescendo,
and "Arpeggiator" rocks the fucking house and kicks some ass. Am I the only
one who thinks "F/D" sounds like Pavement? 9/10.
Instrument Soundtrack - Dischord 1999.
Man overboard and falling onto the hood of a Splendidmobile,
do these shavedish friggers know how to interplay their musical sound noises.
This is the soundtrack to a home video they made, most of the songs are unfinished
instrumentals and early demos of songs from their other records and it friggin'
RULES!!!! This is the sound of a phenomenal songwriting combo coming together
and making it happen. For themselves first and for you the listener secondarily.
But NO wanking occurs and the only moments of suckitude are a couple of noisy
joke tracks that shouldn't be on here in the first, second or questionably
even third place. If you've never heard the band, you might not want to start
here because there are so few vocals goin' down, but if you're a fan, you NEED
this. Don't be fooled by the word "soundtrack" on the cover -- this is an
essential Foogozzy album! You get to hear how they work work!
- Reader Comments
Youre right here, Mark, this is a very cool album. While definitely not a
"fugazi album", per se, Instrument is a fascinating, sometimes beautiful look
at what makes the band tick. The video is even better; hot damn, 2 hours
worth of shit: interviews, fan profiles, studio footage, the works. And I
even like this version of "guilford fall" better than the End Hits version.
- Colin T.
a great alubm. i would go out on a limb and say that some of
these demo versions are better than the finished studio versions. something about
the simple, honest style gets to me. "i'm so tired" is
downright amazing. why didn't they release that until now??? eh?
- RebelJukebox@aol.com (James)
I haven't seen a review for the brand-brand new Fugazi album, The Argument, but I just thought I'd tell readerland that it's effin' great.
It's...it's...like Fugazi doing great difficult subversive pop songs, kinda like 80's Fall. I'm not kidding! There's lots of pop hooks around, and while
there aren't any straight-ahead In On The Killtaker-esque thrashfests, it rocks harder than anything they've done in years, and more melodic than
anything they've ever done. Theve've been traveling the experimental path so far, that I didn't expect them to make a record of really good SONGS.
But they did! Easy nine.
fugazi have released two great discs and i highly recommend that you (mark) get 'em and bitch about 'em so us lot can bitch back.
the EP is great because, well, it has 'furniture' on it and 'no. 5' is one more killer instrumental from the band you'd never have thought could
make one at all. even if they did lift a riff from one of the instrumentals on the "instrument" soundtrack. i'd love 'hello morning' if i could
understand any of it and if the mix wasn't so atrocious. i think guy may be slumming it a little. more on that in the next paragraph.
"the argument" is a curious return for this band. getting the token soundscape out of the way (the first track), 'cashout' is a great opening
anthem for a fugazi record - right up there with 'waiting room' and 'facet squared'. ian knows how to set the tone, both in terms of song
sequence and his guitar, which sounds better here than it has since "in on the kill taker" (for more of me creaming about that album, scroll
up). and the intertwining of brendan and jerry's drumming is definitely a draw on this song, as it is on the other 5 or 6 where they play
together - ah, subtleties. not to be confused with subtitles. sorry. 'full disclosure' starts out violently enough, but segues into the first of many
POPPY SWEETNESS moments on this album. but it feels tired when it should teeter on the brink of insanity. it may have been the desired
effect by the author. the chick singers in the back hold this song together for sure all the way until guy lets loose on his rick' and makes you
forget anything about the chorus of this song. 'epic problem' is another ian masterpiece, with one of his most child-like melodies (that's a
good thing in my book) and most satisfying and creative rhythm shifting since 'back to base'. got to stop comparing these songs to those of
previous records, because they don't really compare at all - these songs are light years beyond their past accolades! anyway, 'life and limb' is
sexy - yes, fugazi makes sexy music! and contagious as well.
but these first three are all a setup for the two great centerpieces of this record: 'the kill', joe's fourth vocal contribution in fourteen years,
proves to have been worth the wait. with guy's avant-dub guitar choices, the two drummers sly working in and out of the song and joe's bass
putting everything in it's right place (insert radiohead pun here). oh yeah, ian's "i'm not a citizen" line only makes an already 10 song a 12 and
a half. i'm always sad when this song ends until i realise what's next. 'strangelight' is built like no other fugazi song i've heard. ian's aching
piano and guy's melancholy guitar lead invite you to sit in on a good cry session from a band not known to make itself terribly vulnerable on
tape. almost picking up where 'fell, destroyed' left off, taking it to an amazing apex and dropping the bomb that is the final minute of this
classic craft. this is one of maybe six or seven songs in fugazi's career where they manage to sum up everything they're good at, up the anty a
notch or two and take your soul somewhere it's never been in the process. nearly every album of theirs has had one of these beauties and this
is the one for "the argument".
in reading this, i'm finding that it's my new favourite fugazi album, for reasons that are still not all clear to me yet, but that i trust to be sincere.
and i really wanted them to quit after "end hits" because it was so insanely fucking brilliant! what a high note to end on. but three years
later, "here comes the argument......". and here's the review for the second half:
'oh' is the one tricky song on the record. not undesirable, but it just feels half-done, even with joe's prickly chorus of "your secret's out", ad
nauseum. it moves into what feels like a moment worthy of the who's "who's next" when ian enters the picture with the closing lines, but
then it finks out into ambiguity. still, it's a strong set of lyrics from the poet of the group.
(mr. picciotto has contributed much to this band over the years and i hate to think of what fugazi would be like without him, but the fire that
was burning under his butt on "red medicine" and "end hits" seems to have dimmed a touch here. maybe he's uncomfortable with the more
subtle direction the band has taken of late. or maybe it's like the beatles, where "rubber soul" was john's shining moment, as "end hits" was
guy's and "revolver" was paul's big deal as the new one seems to be for ian. i have a theory about the parallels between the beatles growth
over their career and that of fugazi. quite interesting, but for another time.)
back to the review, 'ex-spectator' is classic ian (and everything that goes with that) with some great ian/joe double riffage action, just like most
of "margin walker". 'nightshop' starts off like guy's more tender moments from "end hits", but goes all scattershot in the middle and turns into
another song entirely with (GULP!) acoustic guitars?!? think the who or heart's 'crazy on you', not paul simon or anyhting like that. nothing
against paul simon, but this is fugazi we're talking about here. some noise connects this with the closing title track. a new level of POPPY
SWEETNESS from ian with an almost eels moment (what sounds like a mellotron and a glockenspeil playing a too-good-to-be-true melody)
before the song kicks into rock epic territory. the best ending track of a fugazi record since 'last chance for a slow dance' from "in on the kill
taker". or maybe even as good as 'promises'. maybe.
overall, this album is full of pleasant surprises and can still be recognised as a fugazi album, better yet a GREAT fugazi album. hopefully,
when they do tour for this record (i've got my fingers crossed), they'll play most of it. i think it will fit in nicely with their established
repertiore. ian, guy, brendan, joe and jerry all deserve a huge round of applause for this outstanding work of art. with any luck, in 2004, i'll be
saying the same thing about the next one!
Gotta comment on the post that claims Picciotto that the fire under his buttocks has been smothered. If anything, I'm sensing that Guy is one of
the main reasons that the last two Fugazi albums (not counting this one) have been such welcomed departures from the "Repeater" repeats.
Outside of Fugazi, you can find him manning the boards for such "hardcore" acts like Blonde Redhead and it seems that by doing so, he is
helping Fugazi find some new sonics without resorting to excessive amplification. And again, for me "Rubber Soul" seemed to be Paul's
accomplishment whereas "Revolver" shined John's talents so motherfucking brightly ("She Said She Said," "Tomorrow Never Knows"). But this is
a Fugazi posting and "Instrument" is a fine stop-gap between two classic albums. Although I like the album, I like the dvd better, as we can
actually see our heroes walking the walk. To witness the shit they continue to endure (cretins hoping that this will be the show Ian whips out
"Straight Edge," stopping shows mid-performance to settle down the cretins thinking that Fugazi is Japanese for "hurt thy neighbor') and to see
how humble this band is in real life is inspiring. Theirs is not an act. I can think of no other band on the planet that has as much integrity as this
one, and "Instrument" the video release, gives us an uncluttered view of this firsthand. Good soundtrack. Great documentary. I'd pick it
over Scorsese's "The Last Waltz" any day of the week. Rock on, you skinny bastards.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Glenn Lester)
Interesting. I LOVE "Lusty Scripps," "I'm So Tired," and
"Turkish Disco" (later co-opted for "Number 5"?). The rest is just
interesting listening. The movie is pretty sweet too.
My Fugazi experience: I got all the albums, I put them in a playlist, and I put it on shuffle. I enjoyed pretty much everything, but whenever I got to a track that made me stop, listen really intently, and wonder "damn, this is good, what's this called?", it happened to be an Instrument track. I've yet to jump into any Fugazi album, except for this one. I'm listening it all the way through for the first time ever and no song has faltered. This indeed has a lot of two-chord songs with cool basslines, but the experimentation, the wonderful production, the ideas! The lack of vocals is not a problem (when they do sing / shout, it makes it all the better). I love this shit. LOVE IT. I hope the other albums are as good. According to you, they all have a "feel" to them. Can't wait.
The Argument - Dischord 2001
I had heard mixed reviews of the CD -- it was "good Fugazi, but not great Fugazi" -- it "somehow just doesn't do it for (the guy who said this)." But having recently been bowled over while listening to all their other records in a row, I knew I had to hear it and fast. So I picked it up in Hawaii on my honeymoon and immediately sat down to try to decipher the as-always vague, poetic lyrics. So here's a song about punkers who are still concerned about issues like "straight edge" and "selling out" instead of the real problems of the world. And there's a song about a young man being born, raised and trained simply to die in battle. And over there is a great song that seems to be about the head of a company going haywire and turning the place inside out ("I'm pissing on your modems" - HA!).
But the one that scared me was Ian's "Epic Problem." It's difficult, of course, to tell exactly what he's talking about, but based on what I'd heard about the record, I started to fear that this problem was "writer's block." Easily understandable after writing as many great songs as he had written. After listening to the CD only one time, I was happily immediately able to wipe THAT interpretation out of my head, because the greatest, smartest rock band in the world has done it again. AGAIN! For the fifteen millionth time! They still sound like Fugazi, but their creativity is waning not one whit.
Fugazi try so hard to keep their songs interesting. Ever since Red Medicine and maybe even earlier, you simply CANNOT listen for melody and melody only. It's their approach that is so impressive. This album is full of insanely brilliant bits of guitar interplay that you don't even notice are there until they converge into a chiming, brilliant exclamation of glee (as in the chorus to "Full Disclosure"). Some of these songs feature light piano, cello, female vocals and even DOUBLE DRUMS! "Ex-Spectator" - oooohhhh just thinking about that stereo double-drum attack is making me loose in the terwilliger. And back to melody -- "Ex-Spectator" is a perfect example here. If you're sitting there going, "Dammit! I want another 'Waiting Room'!" Why isn't this stuff catchy like 'Merchandise'?" Well... listen a bit closer. Their music is more cerebral now than it used to be. "Ex-Spectator," the first time you hear it, appears to do nothing. But the more you listen to it, suddenly all the disparate bits (double drums, loud smashing chords at intro, busy-as-hell breaks) make sense as a unified whole. That's smart songwriting - refusing to rely on overused riffs, intensity for the sake of intensity and song constructions that do what the audience expects them to.
I'm not trying to scare you away here. This isn't math rock or anything. The fucking melodies fucking ARE fucking great fuckers -- from the quiet, suspicious rocker "Cashout" to the upbeat, Repeater-style "Full Disclosure" on through Ian's upbeat stop-start telegram blaster "Epic Problem" into Guy's evil little note riffer "Life And Limb" right on to the early-PIL-meets-early-U2 echo dub minimalism of "The Kill" passing into the creepy, eerie atmosphere of "Strangelight" (featuring a Polvo-sounding chorus!) jettisoning right at the crangly Gang Of Four-style guitar scratch/dub bass "Oh" outstretching its limbs towards the aforementioned "Ex-Spectator" going heated in motion inwards at the ACOUSTIC (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), old school Fugaziy "Nightshop" before closing up another evening of popcorn with Ian's somber, tentative "Argument." That's your album. Don't you feel like you've actually just sat down and enjoyed it for yourself? Yes! Yes you do! Because I am such a fertile, febrile writer!
- Reader Comments
I would personally rate this a 10 after many listenings...at first it didn't
grab me but on my 3rd or 4th spin it had me. this is what progressive rock
music should sound like. i have to listen to modern rock/new metal radio at
work on occasion, and it is the shits...all of these bands are trying to
sound "progressive" and end up as muddy, generic, boring crap(too many
fuckin offenders to name...okay alien ant farm, puddle of runny shit etc..)
but Fugazi always seems to get it right. Another beauty thing is that this
one of the few recent albums that compels to listen to the entire thing
EVERY time i put it on( another is the White Stripes "de stjil" LP) and
thats sayin something in these days of LPs full of filler(no Minor Threat
pun intended). maybe i'm gushing like a fuckin schoolgirl aboot this record
cause i got to see Fugazi in july and thay hadn't been to saskatchewan in 10
years....show of shows!!!
Let's not forget that in addition to releasing this brilliant CD, they also released Furniture, a 3 song EP. 2 crap songs, but the first song, Furniture,
is Waiting Room 2001!!! Great riff, great drum sound (has there ever been a better drum sound than Fugazi's?), just a damn great song. It would
be one of the best songs they ever wrote if not for the fact that it really really really sounds like Waiting Room. But it is worth buying nonetheless
because Waiting Room is one of the best songs ever ever ever.
Fugazi has evolved so far and maintained such a high level of musical and
personal integrity that it just boggles the mind. Do you realize these four
guys have defied nearly every rock and roll trapping there is? No
drug arrests or overdoses, no signing with a major label, no trashed hotel
rooms, no marrying hanger on pseudo-celebrities (see: Nirvana), no "hits"
or pandering to commercial radio stations (or to TRL), no squabbles over
royalties and song ownership (see: Dead Kennedys)... none of it. And then
you sit down and listen to an album like The Argument and you
realize to what extent Fugazi have managed to incubate themselves and
create something that totally rocks and sounds like nothing else you've
heard. Amazingly, they've accomplished this in a corporate media dominated
world all the while focusing on what's real: Art itself and the role of the
Artist in society.
Those individuals who want another "Waiting Room" might enjoy
Furniture a three song ep that Fugazi put out along side The
Argument. Stylistically, this ep harkens back to Fugazi of the 13
Songs and Repeater era when they were merely the most
interesting punk band around. Nowadays they're the most interesting band
The Argument takes the ten in my book. I never would've guessed that
album number eight from Fugazi would be their best release so far. How many
bands keep getting better after their eighth album? The list is fairly
short: The Beatles... The Rolling Stones... Pink Floyd... and Fugazi. Yeah,
that's right baby, Fugazi! Future historians will back me up on this.
- email@example.com (Cheryl Hicks)
in reference to "furniture" sounding like old fugazi (waiting room 2001) that is because it was written in "87" at the same time as the first e.p. They
have played it live ever since but have only now recorded it. THE ARGUMENT 10/10.
Christ, this band just keeps getting better! Funny thing is, I heard just the exact opposite of what people were telling Mark about this one.
Everyone was carrying on about how great the new Fugazi album was. How melodic that Fugazi had gotten with their new one. How there's
cellos on this album. How Ian actually sings on this one. Right on all accounts. There will be those Fugazi "fans" that may dismiss this album,
citing it's too soft to be the "real" Fugazi. But those fuckers aren't fans, anyway. Tell 'em to put on Repeater again and think about all the fun
they had in the pit, venting on the bystanders because they secretly wanted to be on the football squad in high school. There are a couple of
"sounds like Fugazi" songs on The Argument, but now they're used as part of an overall album dynamics instead of being the overall album.
2001 was a good year for rock music, you just had to find it because, what, there's only like 3 labels left nowadays, right? Discord is still here,
Fugazi are still here, and the both of them have released one of the best albums of the year.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Glenn Lester)
A fabulous fucking disc. "Cashout" is one of the strongest
melodies they've ever come up with, the chorus to "Full Disclosure" is
beautiful, and the trilogy of "Life and Limb"/"The Kill"/"Strangelight" is
spooky and wonderful. An incredibly great record from an incredibly great
band. Seeing that airplane in the liner notes, then hearing lines like
"Hey--we want our violence doubled" and "The sun's a strange light/nothing
grows right anymore" and "Here's what's striking me/how some punk could argue
some moral abc's/while people are catching what bombers release/I'm on a
mission to never agree" and then realizing this shit was recorded BEFORE this
past September made me shit my pants. The 3 Songs 7" is good too--rocking and
short and clear vinyl. 9/10.
If Ian's on a mission to never agree, he's also on a mission to never disappoint, and of
course by "Ian" I mean the whole damn lot of them. While Fugazi have drifted slowly away
from their punkier origins, they've by no means lost their edge, because unlike most
bands who try such reinvention, Fugazi has not sunk to the old "same shit, only slower"
syndrome. They also still sound exactly like Fugazi and no one else, so that when it seems
like a song like "Full Disclosure" might actually end up being palatable enough for radio
airplay, it's abruptly interrupted by an irritating "blydablydablydablyda" noise, which
then gives way to an even more annoying "bloiadahbloihdabloiaghdabloaihoda" noise. Ahh, I
love these guys. And while a million punk bands have written songs about participating in
life vs watching it go by, they don't do it with songs like "Ex-Spectator." Musically and
lyrically, these guys remain far and away more inventive than crapola like Linkin
godammn-shit-bitch-bastard-asshole-Park, who are not the rock of the future, but the rock of the
fleeting present, which can't fleet fast enough for my tastes. What has this exactly to
do with Fugazi? Not all that much; I just didn't feel like writing a separate diatribe
bashing Linkin Park, which the damn radio I'm forced to hear at work every day won't quit
playing, along with Creed, POD, Nickelback, and two or three other bands which suck just as
Yeah. Anyway. Great band, great album. Again. And will almost certainly be unfairly
overlooked by the mainstream music press and awards crap extravaganza banquets. Again.
- email@example.com (Stuart Willis)
This is a great album, as you say. Just takes a little getting in to (but then all Fugazi albums do).
But you mentioned the Dwarves - I agree they're absolutely the BEST punk band around. So where's the review of their latest - How to Win Friends & Influence People?
Please review soon - I have my copy, and it's great!!
I'm pleased to see that you have changed the 10 and given it to this one because it is superior to Repeater in my opinion (not that I don't love that one, it is just my least favourite). It is a toss up between this and End Hits and sometimes Red Medicine for my favourite but I feel that this is probably the best. The three tracks in the middle are incredible and filled with originality, hitting a range of emotions. Cashout is another anthem and the two closers are superb too. There are no weak tracks, which isn't something that can be said about many albums. I personally like the track 'Oh' and disagree with the comment above about it being half done. It works brilliantly despite it not being as melodic as the rest of the album. Ex-Spectator has a brilliant double drum bit that you can't stay sitting down to, and Full Disclosure and Epic Problem should be enough to please those Fugazi fans who want more punky stuff. This band has it all and they just keep coming back with a better record each time. I can't wait for the next one!
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Akis Katsman)
The Argument is the only Fugazi album I've heard and it's a damn good one.
- email@example.com (Mark Manning)
It's a 10*. It slays anything that has been tagged 'classic' in this
millennium thus far. Fugazi just haven't ever let me down (except maybe Red
Medicine just slightly).
- David Dickson
Hey Mark. Question for you: Have I turned gay? Cracked, maybe?
NAZI, perhaps? Because I think this minimalistic noisy tone-deaf
late-80's/early-90's indie guitar stuff might finally be breaking
through to me. No, I'm not a Fugazi fan all of a sudden, and no, most
of the filthy, nasty, evil things I wrote about Steve Albini on the
Miles Davis page will still stand until I hear Big Black's Atomizer.
(Which cannot be found on Rhapsody, because Steve's all smart like
But guess what? I'm now a massive fan of a simple "creative"
indie-guitar rock record written by a man who PATENTLY cannot sing,
clearly did not intend for the record to sell much beyond ten thousand
copies, and released it originally on DOUBLE VINYL LP IN 1993. Yeah.
Damn Red House Painters, with your self-titled debuts. What am I
gonna do with you.
Still, that particular band just perfectly illustrates why I canNOT
seem to "get" these legendary Fugazi guys, "appreciate" their
"intelligent rock", "dig" their "creative guitar melodies" (as simple
as they are), or "see" why they are "better than corporate capitalist
fascist swine like Coldplay". Music, for me, must do one of two
things. It must be catchy, OR it must trigger my emotions. Fugazi
plainly refuse to do either. The hell of it is, there are plently of
"intelligent, avant-garde" bands out there, that at least manage to do
the latter for me. Public Image Ltd. is one of them--they succeed in
genuinely disturbing me, even whilst making me dance. Klaus Schulze
is another--he succeeds in convincing me that he has a window on some
cosmic universe (or some shit). And more relevantly to the "scene" at
hand, Red House Painters manage to make me feel like at the bottom of
a deep, cloudy well of sadness, awash in stately, rumbling morosity.
They're monotonous, noisy on occasion, instrumentally minimal,
monotonous as HELL, and their lead singer writes very very simple
melodies and still barely manages to hit half the notes in them--BUT,
emotionally, they managed to grip me like a vice for all
seventy-five-minutes plus of their very very monotonous debut album
when I listened to it for the first time this weekend.
Fugazi seem to consider doing such things a corporate capitalist
fascist swine compromise. They do "creative" (but simple) things on
their guitars, declaim somewhat intelligent lyrics in a stern
postmodern-y voice, throw in a few clever ironic references to this
non-rock genre or that, and figure that'll be enough,
non-emotion-triggering and all. And when I nonchalantly say, "eh,
it's not bad," fans furrow their post-punky brows and say something
disapproving, with the words "Nazi," "business," and "propaganda"
somewhere in there.
Well, GUESS WHAT, Fugazi fans!? I JUST BECAME A FAN OF A BAND THAT'S
ALL INDIE AND STUFF!! SO YOU CAN'T MOCK ME FROM A POST-CAPITALIST
STANDPOINT ANYMORE!! I have CRED, dudes!!! Where's my free
Oh, The Argument. I last heard it like two years ago. It's okay. I
like Repeater better. I give it a 7.
P.S. Quote marks are FUN.
P.P.S. Sorry to hear about Henry, Mark. He seemed like a swell guy,
from what you wrote of him. Best of wishes.
(a few days later)
Correction: that was their self-titled SOPHOMORE album. Eh--freshmen,
sophomores, they all look alike.
Furniture 7" - Dischord 2001.
Though released over a decade later, this single is very obviously the spiritual followup to the 3 Songs single of all those years ago. Three songs - first side is one midtempo rock song sung by Ian, second side is an instrumental followed by a punky song sung by Guy - hey, these guys are from Washington D.C.! Did you know that President Bush is a coward in addition to being an asshole? Check this out for proof! http://www.awolbush.com/
On a related note, these all sound like old songs to me. I KNOW "Furniture" is an old song, because I had a bootleg copy of it around the time Repeater came out. Good catchy song too! Sounds right off the first two albums. However, Ian claims in the lyrics that "This is a song with no words," which is a quite glaring error, as the song with no words is actually on side B of the cassingle. That song is called "Number 5," but it sounds more like "Number TWO," if you det my grift. Not the worst song ever, but awfully generic in its loud fast guitar early Fugazi-genericisms. It's okay, you understand. Just not up to their standards. The Guy song is though. It's "Hello Morning" and it's a really LOUD GUITAR ROCKER!!!! All three of these songs are actually really loud and hard, which goes a good way towards explaining why they chose to leave them off of Their Last Album. That album was spooky and ethereal! "Ooooooo!" But this one is loud, rocking and grungey like those Seattle grunge kings of yesteryear, Green Apple Quick Step.
Today's Thought For Today (Write these down - they're important): Perhaps you guys and gals read in the news today (9/12) about how the winning number in yesterday's New York lottery was 9-1-1 and how Standard and Poor's 500 Index (as opposed to Standard and Poor's Indy 500, where stockbrokers race really fast cars around a track) closed at 911 yesterday. You may also have noticed such quotes in these news articles as "This just shows that God was watching." A friend of mine (who should really know better) actually said to me, "I'm starting to believe in God now" after reading those articles. Right? Okay, so here's my important thought of the day. Read it closely because I'm only writing it once:
If you really believe that "God" had the power and inclination to affect both the lottery outcome and Standard and Poor's Index, then you must also believe that he had the power to stop those terrorists and save all those innocent people. So I guess he just didn't have the inclination, did he?