Scratched Into Our Souls

Fugazi – “The Argument” | August 10, 2010

Recently, I’ve had the pleasure of digging deeper into the catalog of Fugazi, a post-hardcore punk band from Washington DC formed by ex-Minor Threat vocalist Ian MacKaye and ex-Rites of Spring vocalist Guy Picciotto. Bands don’t get more authentically punk than Fugazi. While many punk bands fall dangerously close to being formulaic throughout their careers, Fugazi know the secret to true success in the scene, which is the ability to appropriate styles and consistently change faces. On one song, vocals will mimic the intense, intelligible shouting of hardcore punk bands like Black Flag. On another, they vocals will be powerful and crisp, miming the best aspects of Joe Strummer and The Clash. 

Perhaps most importantly, though, is just how varied the band managed to be with their instrumentation, appropriating almost every style of punk, hardcore punk, and every punk genre beginning with the often vague qualifying adjective ‘post.’ The guitars go from simple power chords to sweetly melodic counter-melodies in the blink of an eye. The bass playing recalls the early punk-funk of Gang of Four or The Minutemen, demanding that you bob your head or dance to the rhythm. Perhaps the best album to incorporate all of their strengths as a band was their eighth studio album, 2001’s The Argument, which is certainly not just one of the best records of the last decade, but acts as one of the most perfect distillations of everything good about punk music and its rich history and legacy. Not since phony Beatlemania bit the dust had a band made such a compelling statement about the potential power of punk music.

Listen: Fugazi – “The Argument”


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    About Me: Chris Robinson

    A budding writer and avid music fan from Los Angeles, California, I am a recent graduate of Music History from UCLA's Herb Alpert School of Music. I've written for the UCLA Daily Bruin, graduated valedictorian from high school, and enjoy many different types of music, from The Beatles to Beethoven, and everything in between. I wrote my senior thesis on lyrical misinterpretations in popular music, focusing on Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA."

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    All music posted on this blog is for sampling purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Go out and buy their music, attend their shows, and buy merchandise.

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