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.
Performance CreditsFugazi Primary Artist
Bridget Cross Background Vocals
Brendan Canty Drums
Joe Lally Bass,Vocals
Ian MacKaye Guitar,Vocals
Guy Picciotto Guitar,Vocals
Kathi Wilcox Background Vocals
Amy Domingues Cello
Jerry Busher Percussion,Drums
Technical CreditsFugazi Producer,Engineer,Cover Design,Engineering
Don Zientara Producer,Engineer,Engineering
Jason Farrell Cover Assembly
Nick Pellicciotto Live Sound
Joey Picuri Live Sound
Chad Clark Engineer,Engineering
Jerry Busher Live Technician
Jem Cohen Cover Design
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a mature work by an established and experienced band that refuses to stop developing and furthering their art and theory. Possibly the best of all the fugazi cd's, this is one of the best albums that I have ever encountered. Phenomenal lyrics set to groundbreaking music - i would recommend this album to anyone.
I've got this album on heavy rotation. Breaking new ground, Fugazi is not repeating on its past success, but rather, is continuing to push forward. This album shows maturity with roots. If you're looking that same old heavy sound of Repeater, this album is not for you. Incidentally Repeater held its place as my favorite Fugazi album until The Argument. If you enjoyed End Hits, definitely pick this one up.