Tracks of the Decade: “Cashout” by Fugazi


654816_356x237“Cashout”
by Fugazi
from THE ARGUMENT (2001)

Fugazi were mostly quiet this decade, releasing only 2001’s THE ARGUMENT before going on indefinite hiatus in 2002. Whether or not we’ll ever see more from the post-punk Fab Four is anybody’s guess, but in particular the album highlight “Cashout” has left that hunger in my belly. “Cashout” reigns supreme, even above the band’s output in the 90’s, harkening back to the 13 SONGS/REPEATER golden days. They sound like archetypal Fugazi and then some here, with the Lally/Canty rhythm attack pummelling out a groove worthy of “Waiting Room” and the guitar section as post-punk scathing as ever. Still, the band proves it has grown since 1989, throwing enough range and subtlety into the song’s dynamic to incorporate, of all things, a cello. The band sounds as tight as a straight-jacket here, the tempo moderate enough to make it all seem sickeningly easy, but the high pressure atmosphere is inevitably explosive here as Ian MacKaye narrates a story of gross injustice. That being said, the song’s rallying cry – “Everybody Wants Somewhere!” – strikes me as less than customary. “Cashout” may be a sign that Fugazi was ready to leave behind the punk pulpit for greener pastures, their heroic days as soldiers of the counter-culture well past. As the song explodes into freakout mode during the coda, I can visualize the men of Fugazi bidding the world farewell. If that’s the case, what a way to go out.

Fugazi were mostly quiet this decade, releasing only 2001’s THE
ARGUMENT before going on indefinite hiatus in 2002. Whether or not
we’ll ever see more from the post-punk Fab Four is anybody’s guess,
but in particular the album highlight “Cashout” has left that
hunger in my belly. “Cashout” reigns supreme, even above the band’s
output in the 90’s, harkening back to the 13 SONGS/REPEATER golden
days. They sound like archetypal Fugazi and then some here, with
the Lally/Canty rhythm attack pummelling out a groove worthy of
“Waiting Room” and the guitar section as post-punk scathing as
ever. Still, the band proves it has grown since 1989, throwing
enough range and subtlety into the song’s dynamic to incorporate,
of all things, a cello. The band sounds as tight as a straight-
jacket here, the tempo moderate enough to make it all seem
sickeningly easy, but the high pressure atmosphere is inevitably
explosive here as Ian MacKaye narrates a story of gross injustice.
That being said, the song’s rallying cry – “Everybody Wants
Somewhere!” – strikes me as less than customary. “Cashout” may be a
sign that Fugazi was ready to leave behind the punk pulpit for
greener pastures, their heroic days as soldiers of the counter-
culture well past. As the song explodes into freakout mode during
the coda, I can visualize the men of Fugazi bidding the world
farewell. If that’s the case, what a way to go
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