Fugazi Furniture

Fugazi Furniture
Photo: Shawn Scallen
You might be wondering why Fugazi is releasing its first album in three years (not counting the Instrument film soundtrack) at the same time as a three-song EP. Only they know for sure, but listening to the material on both the album and the EP, it seems pretty obvious: they are two separate musical trips. The Argument, the eighth release from the seminal DC godfathers of politically-charged post-punk art rock, is a bipolar collection of cryptic wailing and appeals for social justice that are at times moody and sombre (most notably in the middle of the record, with tracks like the anti-death penalty rant "The Kill" and the anti-corporate rant "Oh") and surprisingly up-tempo at others ("Cashout," "Nightshop"). With the introduction of numerous backing players, including a second drummer/ percussionist, a cellist and female backup singers, the core quartet augments their basic sound on several songs, including the almost ready for radio track "Full Disclosure." Which brings us to the Furniture EP. The title track is a throwback to the chug and groove of "Waiting Room" while the driving "Hello Morning" and the instrumental "Number 5" sound like they could have been outtakes from the Repeater disc. These songs just wouldn't work as part of The Argument, and while they were recorded during the same sessions as the album, they have a completely different vibe. The album is another stage in the progression of Fugazi as an artistic entity that is about so much more than just the music. The EP is celebration of the band's punkier past. You need to own both. (Dischord)