Monday, 19 November 2007



Originally released on Sub Pop, Fugazi made a conscious decision to release this three song seven inch available in unlimited form on Dischord immediately after.  For them it would have been criminal to take their music exclusive to few and out of reach to the masses.  This was them stamping their ethos onto proceedings.  For them punk rock about levelling the playing field and these were the ways they could do it.

I once had an interesting experience with this release when one night when driving back from a gig in Chelmsford I started the stereo home with “Break-In” only to be faced by my partner in Gringo Records kicking up a storm saying how shit the song was and how it was “cock rock that sounded like Bon Jovi”.  This was the weirdest perception.  Talk about miss the point.  However thus from here the song would always have a certain notoriety in my mind.  Fugazi was always a band that could expose the fakes and frauds.

The seven inch actually opens with “Song #1” which is a dub infused stop start that exhibits Ian Mackaye at his scolding best as he stomps into business with an opening line of “Song Number One is not a fuck you song” as Picciotto echoes each final (lasting) word serving as some kind of hype man in a white boy James Brown call and response style.  The message clear, it’s about community and solidarity, pointing out the worrying trends that can exist within scenes be it punk, indie or anything generally.  This is reality tellingly reiterated by his example of people that “fighting for a haircut, then you grow your hair”.  This was territory previously furrowed with Minor Threat on songs such as “Fashionite” and goes a long way to explaining why they never did mainstream magazine interviews.

Moving on the literally titled “Joe #1” is another bass led chunk of hardcore punk maturing into post hardcore as an instrumental track roaming and pacing like a prize fighter before reaching an eventual bombastic finale with all parties involved exhibiting additional touches to their treats (to their playing).

Then it closes with the aforementioned problematic “Break-In”.  Sure this is an explicit nod (maybe step backwards) to their hardcore roots but it is just done so well as Picciotto voice sounds so exotic and important, pained and with purpose.  Then at the chorus Mackaye’s vocals storm in seemingly repeating the favour of the first track.  Far from being “cock rock” the track takes on an altogether approach to such proceedings holding up abuse and shining a light.  Then with that rush its done.  “She’s the covering”.

Fugazi was never really a singles band.

Thesaurus moment: concise.

No comments: