Quick Review (LP): Repeater by Fugazi

fugazi repeater Fugazi
Dischord; 1991

My Rating: A

Best Tracks: “Turnover”, “Merchandise”, “Shut The Door”

After their mighty debut EP, Fugazi struggled through a couple of shorter efforts before nailing it on this, their debut LP. Repeater is the ultimate Fugazi full-length. It’s the record you can imagine them playing to throngs of sweaty teenagers and good-for-nothings in packed all-ages clubs. It’s the record that defines the band, and even sees them hinting at the manic musical directions they would take on future albums (“Sieve-Fisted Find”, “Greed”). The first three tracks run seamlessly into one another, allowing the band to essentially out-do itself after “Waiting Room” and demonstrate the kind of pugilistic fury they were capable of. “Shut The Door” seals the deal, putting the lid on one of the most memorable records of the pre-alternative era, and most everything in between is great too. The thing about Repeater is it opens up, exploding into incredible mixes of melody and fury that are simply unparalleled. Highly recommended, and worthy every second of your time.

AMG review
Wikipedia article
The Daily Guru review

Quick Review (EP): Margin Walker by Fugazi

Margin Walker EP
Dischord; 1989

My Rating: B-

Best Tracks: “Margin Walker”, “Burning Too”, “Promises”

It’s always puzzled me that so many folks cite Margin Walker as one of Fugazi’s best releases. I’ll admit it’s okay, especially the first and last tracks, but it’s an afterthought compared to the first EP. Nothing here is nearly as iconic or tuneful as “Waiting Room”, or even “Bulldog Front.” The tracks all feel a bit rigid, as if it is too obvious they are studio recordings. Furthermore, the band seems increasingly doctrinaire, more obsessed with the message than the music. The result is that this is the only mediocre record the band ever produced. The songs lack the poppy punch of the 7 Songs set, and for that reason it is a less than memorable release.

Wikipedia article
Allmusic review
My review of Fugazi’s 7 Songs EP
Mark Prindle’s review of Margin Walker

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