Saturday, January 23, 2010

Oreilles Gauloises (Desert-Island Album Edition) - In on the Kill Taker (Fugazi)



Way back in the 90s, I would sometimes buy an album that would simply blow my mind on the first listen, and fill me with excitement and joy. The kind of record you play from beginning to end, and then think to yourself "I'm going to start a band!". This is one of those records.

Fugazi came together in 1987 in Washington DC, and quickly became indie stars there, and in the punk/alternative community in general, known for their great songwriting and incredible live shows. They released three records before this one (13 Songs, Repeater, and Steady Diet of Nothing) and several more until they stopped playing together in 2001. All of their albums are worth checking out, but this is the one that grabbed me.

The album was recorded in 1992, and released in early 1993; to me, it is the ultimate soundtrack to the horrible political and social atmosphere of that time - we had just lived through four years of George H.W. Bush in the White House, which gave us a bloody war in Iraq, the political peak of the Christian Right, and an economic recession). Music had started to become exciting again (at least at the mainstream level) with the advent of Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Smashing Pumpkins, and others, but not many bands could capture the feeling of unease and uncertainty that was hanging over my head, being fresh out of school, barely working, and mostly broke. Somehow, Fugazi's music resonated with me: great guitars, with smart and poetic lyrics about politics, art, sex, and the overall challenge of being twenty-something and clueless.

If anything, this is a "guitar" album. Not the shredding kind, or with the long and complicated solos, but the kind of guitar sounds that set the tone without being overwhelming, and make you want to jump and dance in a sea of sweaty bodies, all trying to forget their troubles for an hour or two.

Coughing inside your coffin
Like at the bottom of the sea


Indeed.





3 comments:

Cthulhu, Destroyer of Worlds said...

That is an awesome review, Karlissimo. It made me feel good.

Anonymous said...

And that's saying someting, coming from Cthulhu, Destroyer of Worlds.

M. Rondin de Fromage said...

I agree with Cthulhu (always a good tactic, given the tentacles). It warms the cockles of my heart to picture you filled with excitement and joy. Let us endeavor to remain in that state as much as possible.

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