» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
The Argument
Dischord Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
As disillusionment becomes more and more fashionable in the post-punk community, the machine that is Fugazi becomes more and more well-rounded. As more and more punks cry foul on their favorite bands for the most mundane reasons, Fugazi forge ahead with The Argument, their first proper full length album since End Hits in 1998. If any of the persistent break up rumors that End Hits fueled are still around, The Argument will most likely suppress them. There has never been a question in my mind that Brendan Canty, Joe Lally, Ian Mackaye and Guy Picciotto have consistently been the most relevant band in rock and roll.

Perhaps the most trademark Fugazi track on the album is the highly infectious "Full Disclosure", with its discordant guitar and jarring rhythm section working together in over time to keep pace with Picciotto's faux-British siren. The past meets present when Lally and Mackaye join in on a three part harmony. The contrast is remarkably effective and indicative of the internal growth this band has achieved over the course of the last decade.

Long time fifth-man Jerry Busher is finally represented on tape this time around, and the dynamic element put forth by a second drummer is immediately evident on "Epic Problem", the stereo beats pounding out like rabbit tracks through my mind as Mackaye speak/barks "accessory". Right now, sitting here listening to Busher and Canty pound away, I'd give just about anything to see Fugazi live again.

Really, I could go in depth about each song on the album, from the striking use of female vocals on "Life and Limb" to the eerie melodicism of "The Kill" and the terse beats of "Ex-Spectator", but to me detailed analysis of this album seems about as fruitful as a lengthy dissertation on the artistic merits of the Guggenheim in Bilbao. Some times dissection can lend itself to achieving a deeper understanding, and if I were teaching a class on the do's and don'ts of post-punk rock architecture I would certainly use this band and this album as an example, but at other times, such as now, with this album, it feels almost counter productive to pick it apart. I'd much rather sit back for three quarters of an hour and simply let it play.

While it isn't as urgent as Red Medicine and In on the Kill Taker, the spark that connected Fugazi to the world is still present on this album, and the impact, although a covert one, is still great. The power of the past, coupled with the wisdom (most apparent in the overt use of melody) of ageing, combine to make The Argument Fugazi's most complete effort to date.

In my mind there has never really been a band that has stuck to its guns the way that Fugazi has, and no band has even come close to creating the dynamic that exists on their albums, at their shows, and in their world. For me, Fugazi define relevance. There is no other band that has the ability to turn so many people on to punk rock and still be their favorite band ten years later.

Reviewed by Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.

See other reviews by Eric J Herboth



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