Fugazi 'The Argument'

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The Argument is a bracing reminder of Fugazi's confidence and passion, reflecting the experimental impulses of their previous two albums while further refining their songs and arrangements. It's certainly their most expansive album to date, with a supporting cast that includes Bridget Cross (Unrest, Air Miami), Kathi Wilcox (Bikini Kill), Amy Domingues (Ida), and roadie-soundman Jerry Busher. There's a pronounced pop element at work this time: the title track and "Life and Limb" are Fugazi's most subtle tracks yet, their taut guitar and whispery vocals creating a quiet tension. Even a song like "Full Disclosure," which begins with Guy Piciotto's feral howling, ends with lithe harmonies. Meanwhile, tunes like "Ex-Spectator" and "Epic Problem" expand their core attack without sacrificing an iota of its explosiveness. Brendan Canty's sinuous, rock-solid drumming is key in this regard, providing monster hooks even before the guitars come in. --Mike Appelstein

1. Cashout
2. Full Disclosure
3. Epic Problem
4. Life and Limb
5. The Kill
6. Strangelight
7. Oh
8. Ex-Spectator
9. Nightshop
10. Argument