Fugazi, “Merchandise (Demo)”

Andrew Parks

By Andrew Parks

on 10.27.14 in Listen to This

It’s more of a housekeeping matter and a reminder of Fugazi’s roots than an essential reissue, but there’s no denying a few things about the First Demo record Dischord is releasing November 18. For starters, they must have written and revised their mission statement several times over before they stepped into a studio 26 years ago, because the major talking points of Fugazi were already steadfast on self-assured songs like “Merchandise.” This is a band that defined — no, epitomized — the Do It Yourself era musically and conceptually, hammering their question-everything anthems home with the meaty hooks and complex songwriting other post-hardcore bands lacked. A few details were fine-tuned before these tracks landed on Fugazi’s proper studio records, but the framework for a revolution — however small it may be — is already there on The First Demo. Also: how priceless/punk is the piano on this version of “Merchandise”?