My Formative Albums Of The 00’s No.3: Fugazi – The Argument
Fugazi were just hitting their stride when they recorded (possibly)their last album. The record hit the shops four weeks after 9/11 and proved to be a definite statement by the mercurial band.
This record manages more than any of their others to blend all aspects of the band together seamlessly: the rage of 13 Songs and In On The Kill Taker and the experimentation and melody of End Hits and Red Medicine. Ian MacKaye and Guy Piccotto’s guitar duelling had been lauded in the past, but here they took a different approach with MacKaye laying down steady rhythm and Piccotto expressive leads over the top. They also employed slinky piano to tracks like the anthemic Strangelight and double drums to the piledriving Ex-Spectator. Bassist Joe Lally and drummer Brendan Canty provided one of the greatest rhythm sections in punk rock history, and they are responsible for basically the entire post punk boom of the early noughties in my opinion. Here they excel, especially in the bookends to the record opener Cashout and the incredible The Argument.
Anyone who knows Fugazi were always extremely anti-capitalism and abhorred the machinations of the record industry. I am of the full belief that if the band had bitten the bullet and played the game, they would have become one of the biggest bands in America. If not immediately, then definitely in a Pixies-esque elder statesman fashion.
I can say that Fugazi had a huge impact on the way I treated punk rock and politics; and I only wish I could have caught them live. I remember having only just picked up 13 Songs when they rolled through Glasgow on the last European tour they committed to. Even though each record they put out broke barriers for the stale genre that was punk rock in the 90’s, they really came alive infront of an audience. For proof, pick up their documentary Instrument, and it will give you a glimpse of what made this group of individuals so special.
I still hold hope that Fugazi will re-unite, even though I know there ain’t much chance of it happening. At least there will always be The Argument.