Friday, July 11, 2014

FDF Volume 3 Issue 343 - Fugazi - Instrument

Album – Instrument Soundtrack
Artist - Fugazi
Key Players – Brendan Canty – drums. Ian MacKaye – guitar and vocals, Guy Picciotto – vocals, guitar. Joe Lally - bass
Produced By - ?

Release Date – March 23, 1999

Overview – This is a largely instrumental soundtrack for the documentary about the band. Mostly outtakes and a few unreleased songs. The band, which formed in 1987, has always been the band looked to for the DIY ethical stance. Never making t-shirts, keeping concert tickets under ten dollars and all ages shows. The band has released six studio albums up to this point.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – There are 18 tracks on this collection and “Pink Frosty Demo” opens it. Uncannily quiet for the band. Lally has a very nice bass line and Canty is in no real hurry. The guitars are hardly there until about the 2 minute mark, but they too are in no rush. This is not the Fugazi anyone might think of. “Lusty Scripps” is almost a funk track with Lally and Canty finding the funk as MacKaye and Picciotto buzz in on the guitars. "Arpeggiator Demo"   is a cool sounding track with phase on the drum and the single choppy guitar notes stand out all the more. The audio has that swirling left to right and around your headphones. The band is really experimenting with their sound. “Afterthought” is a mellow track with keyboards and drums being the focus. It feels like interlude music vs a track, still interesting enough. Lally intros on “Trio's” as he finds a solo bass riff to circle on and the guitars are hesitant and Canty slowly moves things up but it never really breaks out, keeping its steady pace.  "Turkish Disco"  has quick guitars and Lally again has a solid bass line. We get the nice dual guitar attack on this so its cool to hear MacKaye and Picciotto work together whole Canty and Lally hold it all in place. For the first time he have some vocals. “Me and Thumbelina” has some spoken word, and an almost “after the fact” feel with the vocals. Its under 40 seconds long and sort of is a toss away. “Floating Boy Demo” finds Lally in that familiar places with a nice fluid bass and the guitars taking turns but it turns in to a longer track where the guitars take over, not aggressively, just with some set up feedback. More fluid work continues on “Link Track” another showcase for Lally who really does impress. We get a bit more “rocking” as  "Little Debbie"   and this is the first one that feels like you are listening to Fugazi. The pushed vocals, the urgent playing make for a welcome addition to the album. Fuzzy bass, that is how “H.B.” starts up and its really a bass track, sounds like Lally laid down his idea on what the band could work with. The piano ballad “I'm So Tired” is sung by MacKaye is a huge departure from this album as well as Fugazi. Just nothing you'd suspect. Its well done too. “Rend It Demo” is another vocal track with offset playing and hushed tones. Its a demo version for sure in that it feels (at least to me) it never really gets going. The shrill of the guitar and haunting bass make “Closed Captioned Demo” a must hear. “Guilford Fall Demo” gets the rocking treatment with the two guitar attack and the bass and drums right along with them. They mean business here, and are just as focused and on point as you'd like. “Swingset” is back to a minimalist approach with the two guitars and bass before Canty pushes it more with the drums. Lally puts down a 12 bar blues bass riff as “Shaken All Over” gets underway, but he stops after 20 or so seconds, takes 10 seconds off and starts the same riff up. He bends some notes but again this never materializes and in under a minute its done. The collection closes with “Slo Crostic” in which Canty counts it off and the slow drum progression begins. The guitars are there and its a mid-tempo track that seems fitting to close with.
Where are they now? - The band has been on hiatus since 2003. The band members have worked on various projects during this hiatus. They guest on records, produce, write and record. Some 800 of the bands 1000+ shows were recorded and fans can download the shows .  Picciotto has continued to work both playing and producing.  Deathfix is Canty's latest side project where he sings and plays guitar.  They released a record in 2013.  He works a lot as a session musician and does film work.  Lally, who lives in Rome now has released a few solo records and at one time ran a label.  Back in 2011 I was able to interview Joe for the web site Visible Voice.  I hope you'll check it out  here.  MacKaye is busy as an author, musician, activist and Dad.

FDF Overall Take/Was it worth Dusting Off? - When songs from this collection come up on shuffle I often do the old “double take”. Fugazi is a band that is polarizing and fans can have some heavy opinions on what is good/bad or otherwise. The nice thing about this is it feels like a complete departure from what the band typically does. If you are new to the band you might get this album towards the end of building their discography, but its still a solid listen and its always interesting to hear bands pushing their own comfort zones.

Links, find out more, follow em and buy!
The band has always been pretty DIY but there are some links.  The official site is off their label, the IMDB link sends you to the IMDB page for "Instrument", the next link allows you to watch the film, then the final is to grab the physical copy from the bands label.

 Official site

Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.


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