Fugazi, The Argument

Joe Gross

By Joe Gross

on 07.26.11 in Reviews

Recorded in the first quarter of 2001 and released in October of that year, The Argument was Fugazi’s final album before going on indefinite hiatus in late 2002. It’s regarded by many as their best; it’s certainly the band’s most musically diverse. As much as they would ever be, the songs seem more than the menu for live-show meal. Background vocals, sweeping cello from Amy Domingues, acoustic guitar and Jerry Busher on second drums all play prominent, dramatic roles. “Break” rips apart gentrification, while “Strangelight” is a bizarrely sensual love song (uh, maybe).

Their most musically diverse and, to some, their best

They can still explode when they want to — Guy’s “Iwantout IwantoutIwantout!!” and Ian’s “STOPSTOPSTOPSTOP” are as sweaty as anything from Margin Walker. The anger is there, often as direct as ever, but fuller musical textures are the rule rather than the exception. As for being psychic, well, it was downright chilling to hear “some punk could argue moral ABCs/ when people are catching what bombers release” that winter. Then again, they would say ’twas ever thus.

Nicely bookending their career was the Furniture EP. The B-sides are fine, but the keeper is the stellar A, a song that dates from their very earliest shows given new, vibrant life. Few bands have ever said “Yeah? BULLSHIT!” as clearly.