Quick Review (EP): Jawbox EP by Jawbox

jawbox ep Jawbox
Jawbox EP
Dischord/Desoto/Slamdek; 1990

My Rating: B

Best Tracks: “Tools & Chrome”, “Bullet Park”

Jawbox didn’t really hit their stride until Novelty, and this, their earliest release, suffers a bit from a meat-and-potatoes aesthetic blandness. That’s not really a major complaint though, because the performances are energetic and full of conviction. Everything here rocks with a truly youthful abandon, and Robbins’ guitar work is already beginning to shine with that razor’s edge manic grace that he would perfect later on. “Tools & Chrome” hits hardest, but don’t miss “Bullet Park”, which was released as an extra track on the Slamdek-released cassette. “Twister” also begins to hint at the frantic melodicism they would embrace on later releases. Worth a pitstop for devotees.

Allmusic review
Slamdek write-up (very in-depth, don’t miss it)

Quick Review (EP): 7 Songs by Fugazi

7 Songs EP
Dischord; 1988

My Rating: A+

Best Tracks: “Waiting Room”, “Burning”, “Suggestion”

Yes, it is THAT good, good enough to warrant us forgiving them for inaugurating the punk/funk/hardcore fusion that would be mimicked ad nauseam in the late 90’s by all the Korn Bizkit’s of the world. From every conceivable standpoint, this debut is a masterpiece, with “Waiting Room”/”Bulldog Front”/”Bad Mouth” standing as one of the greatest opening salvos in rock history. Elsewhere, “Burning” is nearly as strong, featuring an incredibly memorable intro, and “Suggestion” achieves the sort of epic arc that was and still is quite unusual for hardcore. There’s really no other record that brims with as much conviction, passion, and ferocious melodicism as this here extended player, and every track is simply iconic. Furthermore, this is a landmark record, because it’s the point that hardcore punk made the case that it could be, like, capable of the Top 40. The fact is, “Waiting Room” is one helluva pop song, and it might be argued that every track that made it into the buzz bin on MTV in the 90’s somehow directly descended from it. You should probably own two copies of this one: one to listen to, and one to salute on your way out the door every morning. So much more than a hardcore or punk record, the 7 Songs EP is without a doubt one of the finest musical moments of the 1980’s.

AMG review of the 13 Songs compilation
AMG review of “Waiting Room”
Wikipedia article
Confessions of a Cultural Whore review