Fugazi, Steady Diet of Nothing

Joe Gross

By Joe Gross

on 07.26.11 in Reviews
A dark, tough, strange album

A divisive record, Steady Diet is seen as either a fan favorite or Fugazi’s least-loved LP. Attempting to produce themselves, the quartet created a weirdly flat, bone-dry recording, an on-off binary between open silence and shattering noise. A few tracks are among the band’s very best — “Reclamation” became a punk pro-choice anthem (MacKaye’s “CARRY MY BODY” scream is a knife wound), “Runaway Return” articulates the inner turmoil of the upper-middle class punk, while “Latin Roots” unpacks an awkward romantic moment. And MacKaye has become one of his generation’s best sloganeers: “America’s just a word but I use it” and “Things have settled down but silence/ is a dangerous sound” are personal favorites. But a few don’t quite work — there’s a reason you rarely heard “Polish” or the instrumental “Steady Diet” live. “Long Division” mourns a fractured…scene? Relationship? Movement? Something. “We lay in pieces, cracked to survive…”