The lowdown on Fugazi
Fugazi are a Washington DC band, formed in 1987 and officially still extant, although they have been ‘on hiatus’ since 2002. The four members are Ian MacKaye (vocals and guitar), previously of hardcore legends Minor Threat, Joe Lally (bass), Brendan Canty (drums) and Guy Picciotto (initially only backing vocals in a hype man role, the Flavor Flav to MacKaye’s Chuck D, but subsequently second guitarist and co-lead vocalist). Their music is rooted in punk, but moves outwards to encompass much more. There’s a strong dub reggae influence from their earliest recordings, not least in their use of space – they took a traditionally dense and claustrophobic sound and found the space that was hiding in it all along. The guitar style is unusual. There’s no real differentiation between lead and rhythm, rather both guitarists occupy different parts of the sound spectrum, with Picciotto’s needling treble interlocking with MacKaye’s chunkier riffs. The real musical stars of Fugazi are the rhythm section. Lally and Canty are just superb, with sensational interplay, drive and groove. They deserve to be spoken of in the same breath as Entwistle and Moon or Jones and Bonham. As their career progressed, the » Continue Reading.