Posted by: markfender | September 4, 2013

Headphone Diaries – July 31st, 1991

Punk’s not dead.

Fugazi_-_Steady_Diet_of_Nothing_coverFugazi
Steady Diet of Nothing

Steady Diet of Nothing is a pretty typical Fugazi album. Which means that it’s not typical. Their odd version of post-hardcore continues to espouse the political ideologies they’ve pushed over the years. Still, their slower, more deliberate punk songs are a welcome breather from the traditional 2-minute punk song.

I happen to like Fugazi quite a bit. But it so happens that I don’t care for most “normal” hardcore all that much, so I guess that follows. I can generally listen to any punk song and enjoy it. The problem comes in when you then want to play me the next song from that album and they all blend together and the magic disappears. Which is why I appreciate Fugazi, who generally sound completely different with every song. Hell, many of their albums don’t sound anything like previous albums. Which can make their catalog a little spotty at times.

My favorite album of theirs is Repeater. Which, coincidentally, is the first album of theirs I ever heard. I heard it in driver’s ed. One of the “benefits” to being the driver was that you got to pick the music listened to. The only skater kid in my class put in Repeater when it was his turn to drive. Sitting in the back seat, I quickly jotted down the Dischord shipping address so that I could procure my own copy.

Repeater is the only Fugazi album in which I actually like every song. Not to say that every album doesn’t have some good tracks, but they seem thinner on the ground in other albums. But I think what’s interesting about Fugazi is how principled they are. They deliberately avoided mainstream success. Their record company sold their CDs for $8, undercutting the CD stores. They refuse to allow moshing at their shows, going so far as to stop the show in order to prevent it. These sorts of stunts kept them underground their whole careers, but then, that’s what they wanted so I guess mission accomplished.

Has it aged well? It’s hardcore. Hardcore sounds the same now as it did when it first showed up.

Should this go on your iPod? Does your iPod need indy cred? Repeater would give it that cred.

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