Friday, 16 September 2016

Fugazi "Repeater + 3 Songs" (1990)

One, two, three, four, Ribena! No, not the fruit drink, repeater is the word! A misheard lyric I just corrected myself on as I looked up the track listing preparing to write. "Repeater + 3 Songs" is the bundling of Fugazi's critically acclaimed debut record and a 3 track EP released months earlier in 1989. I've been meaning to get around to Ian MacKaye's music for sometime and was delighted to find something quite attuned to the Post-Punk and Hardcore sounds Ive been listening to recently. "Repeater" is fantastic for reasons I can't put my finger on. Its easy on the ears, full of life and energy with a raw authenticity that tackles the harder subject matter.

Formerly just the brainchild of guitarist, singer, MacKaye, "Repeater" is the turning point where the group decided to write music together. Its apparent they have a golden chemistry in this moment as an organic and free sound emerges that loosens the conventional song structures to allow all sorts of magic to happen between the guitars and drums with plenty of rhythm breaking and noisy atmospheric guitars to break up the repetitive riffs with expansive sounds often playing with feedback and reverbs. Much of whats hard about Hardcore remains in the moments of aggressive guitar playing as hints of Post-Punk, Rock and Grunge play into their sound but mostly its one of those records that's carved its own niche.

The records best tracks feature vibrant bass lines with a warm, bold, golden tone that the guitars play expansive riffs over, bursting Post-Rock like atmospheres into pockets of the songs. The drums join in too between conventional beats and syncopate with the instruments. MacKaye and Picciotto take turns on vocals and both of them bring a passion with light screams and emotional singing to further illuminate the energy exuding from the instrumentals. The whole chemistry is a fine thing and there is something rather momentary about this record that has been captured in a gorgeous recording that has stood the test of time, sounding fantastic to this day. Between its best songs a couple don't reach the same mark but that's simply a compliment to how excellent some of these tracks are. A deep, artful rock record with a slightly aggressive overtone addressing heavy subjects.

Favorite Tracks: Turnover, Repeater, Blueprint, Sieve-Fisted Find, Shut The Door
Rating: 8/10