Dischord – 2001 – 44 minutes

For a band who have become more famous for their off record exploits (running their own label, managing themselves, keeping door prices low and not selling merchandise) than anything they've committed to tape, calling their album 'The Argument' suggests Fugazi are keen to bring the focus back to the one area it really counts: the music.

Now eight albums and fourteen years old, the quartet's experience remains as intense as their opening song to the world all that time ago. With the addition of roadie and second live drummer Jerry Busher to the studio process, 'The Argument' finds the quartet in their most rhythmically adventurous state to date, pushing their sound into lusher territory but never sounding as if they're carrying extra weight.

Their union of clean and gritty guitars, shouty and soft vocals is now complimented by, amongst other things, pianos and cellos ('Strangelight'), whistling ('The Kill') and backing singers ('Life and Limb') but the destination remains constant: the place where rock ends and magic starts. Few bands can or should claim to make the world a better place - Fugazi are far too humble to sing their own praises but this Argument has more than enough to make anyone shut up and listen.

Harry Guerin

Tracklisting: Cashout – Full Disclosure – Epic Problem – Life and Limb – The Kill – Strangelight – Oh – Ex-Spectator – Nightshop – Argument