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Fugazi - Red Medicine (1995) Retail CD
1995's Red Medicine remains one of my favourite Fugazi albums alongside Repeater (1990) & The Argument (2001); though to be fair, I like them all. People seem to state that fans of Fugazi/Margin Walker/Steady Diet of Nothing - Fugazi tuned out here. I think that's overstating it- as tracks like Bed for the Scraping, Back to Base, & Downed City are as intense as any earlier Fugazi track. & Red Medicine did see the band making almost funky-instrumentals with a track like Combination Lock- but didn't 1993's In On the Killtaker contain similar instrumentals (Sweet & Low? & didn't 1990's Repeater/Songmore…#1 also have similar instrumentals? (Brendan#1, Joe#1). The change isn't that pronounced- & several times I've seen them live and Do You Like Me has gone down as well as an early classic like Waiting Room...Red Medicine advanced on the post-punk/post-rock stylings of Fugazi- it's surprising how complex and tight these songs are & like earlier material, there's a definite pop-sensibility here (Fugazi aren't afraid of tunes- as much as I admire Minor Threat, Fugazi are more the real deal for me). Listening to Red Medicine it's easy to see where all that EMO-stuff came from (as well as preceding bands to Fugazi like Embrace & Rites of Spring), as well as the briefly hyped precursor to The Mars Volta, At the Drive In. Fugazi are expanding their sound here- Latest Disgrace is them in epic-mode, throbbing & building on waves of guitars; Birthday Pony is an almost funky slowburner, moving from a piano-introduction to an angular guitar-assault. Even better are the quieter songs like Forensic Scene and By You, which show that Fugazi could easily hold ground with a band like Slint. There is much tuneful here, I don't see why they should apologise for that- Combination Lock, Target & opener Do You Like Me? are wonderful, wonderful songs. The most adventerous track remains Version, which is very math-rock, though with strange electronic effects and a dub feel- this is countered by a series of direct tracks that get more & more concise: Target, Back to Base, Downed City...ending with the potent Long Distance Runner, which is hypnotic and close to similar territory to something sacred like Spiderland...Red Medicine is one of the great Fugazi records, in an admitidly great career; it's a pity more people aren't aware of this great band- choosing to listen to MTV-pseud-punk outfits & bands like At the Drive In and Rage Against the Machine. This remains a highlight of the 1990s for me & shows a band at the height of their powers- 1998's End Hits would be almost as good, while 2001's The Argument would top this...Whichever way you look at it: Fugazi rule!
|1||Do You Like Me|
|2||Bed For The Scraping|
|11||Back To Base|
|13||Long Distance Runner|
- Fugazi - Red Medicine (1995) Retail CD
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- 21/11/14 by ssvril
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