First Demo

Written by: PP on 09/12/2014 23:34:37

Thirteen years ago Fugazi left us with "The Argument", leaving behind a legacy of post-hardcore so experimental it's likely never to be topped by any band. Throughout their career they released several landmark releases from "Repeater" to "End Hits" and of course "The Argument" which came to define how the genre could sound like. More importantly, they are widely considered to be the very first post-hardcore band with "Fugazi" EP (1988) and "Repeater" (1990) having been released years before bands like Quicksand or At The Drive-In even thought about recording their first material. Ever since their formation, the band have been recognized for their weird and eclectic expression that's characterized by constantly changing time signatures, funky usage of thick bass rhythms as texture, and unpredictable explosions from indie-flavored material to pure hardcore rage. To call it an unconventional sound feels like an understatement.

Fast-forward to 2014 and to "First Demo", an eleven track album featuring their previously unreleased first demos that were recorded back in January 1988, but kept under wraps by Dischord Records since then. The record features many Fugazi classics that were later re-recorded and re-arranged drastically, resulting in songs like "Waiting Room" or "Bad Mouth", both staples in Fugazi's discography that most fans of the genre will eagerly quote when asked about their favorite songs by the band. "First Demo" offers an unprecedented look into how different these songs sounded in their first iteration, which also requires a certain degree of ability to let go of your favorites by the band and hear them in new light. In this case, it means loose, exceptionally bass-driven versions with rawer vocals that nonetheless feature the core melodies you'll be sure to recognize. It's an intriguing window into the inner workings of a band that was always determined to stand out through their undying desire to experiment, twist, stretch and push the envelope with their sound, making them one of the most beloved 90s bands in the process.

Hearing the songs in their original format is not only a back-chilling experience but also a way into the history books to trace back how post-hardcore formed as a genre. The raw emotion, sourced from hardcore but filtered through an indie rock lens was so hugely pioneering it virtually changed the independent music scene forever, but then again, vocalist Ian Mackaye also did that with Minor Threat during the mid 80s. Best of all, despite the shoddy production and the loose playing, the songs retain their wonderful charm and feel as timeless as they are in reality. Not just that, but "First Demo" basically paves the way for that long-rumoured Fugazi reunion and perhaps a comeback album which the band have also been talking about becoming a possibility at some point in the future. Either way, "First Demo" offers unique insight into one of the best bands of the 90s period and post-hardcore in general. If this doesn't get your mouth watery over the rest of their discography, then no 90s style post-hardcore band probably will.


Download: Waiting Room, Furniture, Bad Mouth, Break-In
For the fans of: Drive Like Jehu, Rites Of Spring, Jawbox, The Jesus Lizard
Listen: Facebook

Release date 18.11.2014
Dischord Records

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