Fugazi – “Repeater” (1990)

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Fugazi are punk rock royalty with being credited as one of the founders of the post-hardcore genre. “Repeater” was the band’s first full length album and is widely acclaimed as a keystone album for post-hardcore and punk in general.

For me, Fugazi was one of those bands that was often name-dropped but it took me a while to take the time to actually give them a listen. What is immediately apparent with Fugazi is that they have a unique sound. Unique doesn’t always translate to good, however, and I think the band is by no means the easiest to get into. On “Repeater”, Fugazi have a dissonant, almost unpleasant sound. The chords they play are harsh, there is a staccato “attack-and-stop” to the rhythm, and the vocals are shouted and not musical at all. There were some things that I liked right away though, like the chorus to the song “Repeater” and the very spur-of-the-moment feeling that radiated from the whole album. The performances from Fugazi were organic and fun, like a band that was playing off of each other and ad libbing little pieces here and there.

The more I listened to “Repeater” the more I grew to like the unwelcoming sound. I found myself banging my head to the jolting rhythm of songs like “Greed” and singing along to the group vocals that reminded me a lot of classic punk bands. The unconventional and experimental nature of the songs kept me coming back for more and before I knew it I was in love. On top of that, there is also a lot of great playing from all band members here. In particular there are some sweet bass lines on this album that sound fantastic.

Even after nearly 30 years, Fugazi’s “Repeater” is still earning itself new fans and I’m one of them. Despite the many years that have passed since this album released, I’ve never heard anything quite like it.

Favorite songs: “Repeater”, “Blueprint”, “Styrofoam”

9/10

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