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Steady Diet of Nothing

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Album Review

From the opening swarms of "Exit Only," you can tell Steady Diet of Nothing will differ from Fugazi's earlier records. Repeater's excellence can't be denied, but the band stood in danger of stagnating its sound. To its benefit, Fugazi made some changes, employing more herk-a-jerk rhythms and dub influences, and changing up the lyrical focus. Actually, the lyrics get a bit vague — bordering on equivocality at times — which has its advantages and disadvantages. With Steady Diet, Fugazi get more economical and less forceful. Though not nearly as neck-gnawing as Repeater, Steady Diet still packs a sizable wallop, but with slower tempos and less deliberate instrumentation. As always, a poison-tipped dart is pointed at the government, media, and major entertainment outlets. Ian MacKaye's "destroy your television" rant on "Polish" is one of the more direct and simple songs. His "KYEO" comes straight from the rice paddy or homefront, depending on interpretation. It urges the listener to always remain aware, whether awaiting the enemy's next battle move or remaining blissfully unaware of how people can be taken advantage of by others. As with the rest of the band's catalog, lyrics are provided in the booklet. This makes things much easier on the intent listener, as both Picciotto and MacKaye have weird voices that become unintelligible when howled over their instrumental din. The lyric sheet is most useful on Picciotto's "Latin Roots." He's not warning you that "it's time to meet Jamaicans," as it sounds, but rather "it's time to meet your makers." Not quite lending itself to "Purple Haze"-like levels of butchery, but important to point out nonetheless.

Biography

Formed: 1987 in Washington, D.C.

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

If history is kind to Fugazi, their records won't be overshadowed by their reputation and methods of operation. Instead of being known for their community activism, five-dollar shows, ten-dollar CDs, and resistance to mainstream outlets, they will instead be known for their intelligent songwriting and undeniably proficient musicianship, which drew from their roots in Washington, D.C. hardcore, as well as post-punk and dub reggae....
Full Bio