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The Argument

Fugazi

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Album Review

It's unfortunate that a band so forward looking as Fugazi has been criticized over and over for not remaking "Waiting Room" or "Repeater." Some have called them sellouts, regardless of the band's integrity and class, while others consider them elitists, "guiding" the Washington, D.C., scene. This could not be further from the truth. As the film and soundtrack to Instrument proved, this is a band that is only concerned with musical growth, with each album improving on its predecessor. But no album they have put together has the jump ahead that The Argument has. Being both ear-shattering and spine-tingling at once, this is Fugazi at their "musical" best. Incorporating melody with texture and their signature angular approach, the band has raised the bar for themselves and others once again. The first "full" track, "Cashout" (an anti-gentrification anthem), is classic stuff, with a subtle guitar line exploding into a screaming chorus, but this time there is less of an emphasis on the screaming and more on the gentle melody of the verse. Slower tracks like "The Kill" and "Life and Limb" touch on strange new territory. Gentle with sense of swagger, these songs lack none of the power that the band is known for, while the two-drum assault of "Ex-Spectator" (courtesy of Brendan Canty and second drummer Jerry Busher) has just as much potency on disc as it does live. And the final song, "Argument," with its rolling guitar lines, dreamy breakdown, and vocals that build from gentle to screaming, may be the best closer on a Fugazi record since "Promises." Listeners may be surprised to hear strings open up the record, or piano guiding the brilliant "Strangelight," but this is the album that proves once and for all that Fugazi has become a purely musical force.

Fifteen years in and Fugazi is still progressing. It makes one wonder what they're capable of in the future.

Customer Reviews

Think FUGAZI think again

The review from my comrade is the finest review I have read of the iTunes client reviews. I shall continue to read it, loving Fugazi. Till my myopia becomes in curable.

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, resistance to mainstream outlets, and the laughably fictitious folklore surrounding their lifestyle, they will instead be identified as setting a high bar for artistic excellence that is frequently aimed for but seldom achieved with great frequency. During their existence, the four-piece created some...
Full bio

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