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13 Songs

Fugazi

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Album Review

Disregarding all the wordiness and adjectives that can be heaped like a pile of horse dung at Disneyland upon great, timeless albums, the importance of this record can perhaps be more suitably measured by the number of people who remember the first time they heard it. 13 Songs (a combination of the Fugazi and Margin Walker EPs) is usually among the first records that spring to mind when defining alternative rock. Furious, intelligent, artful, and entirely musical, it's a baker's dozen of cannon shots to the gut — not just a batch of emotionally visceral and defiant songs recorded by angry young men, but something greater. Nearly every song here reaches an anthemic level without falling prey to pomposity. Most of these songs are anthems of the self rather than a rallying cry of accusation or unification, with "Waiting Room" and "Suggestion" serving as two examples. The attention-getting drop into silence that occurs at the 22-second mark of the former is instantly memorable. The relentless ska/reggae-inflected drive of the song is equally effective, as Ian MacKaye tells everyone listening to get off their behinds and do what they want. During the Meters-meets-Ruts thrust of "Suggestion," MacKaye switches genders for an entirely convincing rant on the objectification of women. Guy Picciotto takes on the persona of an addict on "Glue Man," whose blurred sense of reality is also conveyed in the warped, psychedelic guitars. Picciotto threatens to set himself on fire during "Margin Walker"; given the spirited play of the remaining members, it sounds like the same could be said for the rest of them. Foreshadowing the band's knack for introspective and mid-tempo concluding tracks, the disc ends with MacKaye's "Promises," examining the pitfalls of trust in relationships of any nature. A landmark record.

Customer Reviews

A Life-Changing Band

Fugazi was the first punk band I saw live and I still love this album 15 years later. (Still have it on cassette, held together by masking tape!) Their DIY attitude and "no sell-out" ethos really impressed me. This album best captures their raw approach to making music that I loved that day at The Channel in Boston. I wonder though... Would Ian approve of selling the album for $11.99?

The Real Deal

There are certain times in your life that you know you are bearing witness to greatness. The 1st time I heard this Album at a basement party in high school, everything changed. After that night music was never the same for me. If someone admitts to not liking this album, they are not to be trusted.

Alternative defined

C'mon! You must give this 5 stars or you are not listening. I bought these EPs in the late 80's in high school and they still are great. They haven't aged a bit. In fact, they've made more sense to me as i've lived my life. These 2 EPs were put together to form this cd, 13 Songs. A must have for anyone! The music is aggressive and makes you want to do something more than just listen. Get it?

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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