Fugazi are something of an enigma in HC circles. The members of the band are famous from their past DC/HC projects, such as Guy Piccioto's Rites Of Spring, and of course Ian Mackaye's HC legends, Minor Threat. Ian Mackaye's done the whole renaissance bit when it comes to shaping the world of HC. He "invented" (but fiercely divorced himself from) the straight edge lifestyle, produced albums for bands such as Rollins Band, established Dischord Records, but the jewel in his crown must be Fugazi.
From day one, Fugazi set out to be the very meaning of independence. A fierce change from the bands' previous groups, they intended to be unique from the word go. And they are that. Fugazi are a band that you either like or dislike - in-betweeners are hard to find. But that's the point with a band like this; you like them for what they are, nothing more. They're not really a group you can be into just to look cool, like so many two-dimensional 'alternative' acts these days. Fugazi are the real deal. It's like comparing as fine wine with a cheap alternaitve, and like a fine wine they grown on you after time, and you appreciate them more and more as time goes by.
This album, like every other Fugazi album , does not dissappoint because you can't really have much expectation about what it's going to be like. You'll never read 'A much more commerical and singy-a-longy release that previous efforts' or 'Be prepared to be shocked this time!'in the press like you do with many other artists, because you know it won't happen. A Fugazi album is exactly what it sets out to be, and it will be different to the others (as this one certainly is), but you can guarantee that they will not have sacrificed anything for the sake of making a few more bucks off of this one.
'The Argument' features some interesting turns within it's diverse offerings. Some female backing vocals in 'Full disclosure' and 'Life and Limb', a nice double-drum motif on 'Epic Problem' & 'Oh', and some really nice cello parts on some songs too. Each song has the familiar Fugazi 'sound', but each song still feels fresh and vibrant because you know you will never hear anything like it from anyone else. Of course, there are plenty of imitators out there, but they pale in comparison.
The lyrics on Fugazi releases can often be cryptic and strange, but I found many of the songs on this album have an immediately reckognisable message, and it feels almost as if the songs are easier to reach than on previous releases. For example, I loved the 'End Hits' album, but I found much of the stuff on there darker and even slightly sinsiter compared to this album. The first song, 'Full Disclosure', is an abrupt tale about capitalism and progressive money-making. 'Epic Problem' (one of the best on the album), is about how bands such as this can be misunderstood because of how they work against the grain of the music industry, and how the life of this band could be seen as a struggle to many, but is seen as no problem to the band itself.
Easily the best of all the DC/HC bands, this release proves that after 15 years of being together, Fugazi are still the band that sets the standards for alternative music, and even survival against the music industry.
Check out the 'Furniture + 3' single release when you buy this too.