ISSUE #10 - 1995

Fugazi -- Red Medicine       Dischord
    Fugazi's toughlove Red Medicine already has hacks dribbling "masterpiece", if only so they can declare final victory and stop listening to the records. Fugazi's seven-year failure to deliver the goods makes any sign of salvation via musical innovation an occasion for the faithful to leap out of their Docs as they spy the light at the end of the torture tunnel. Trying to love Fugazi is a prescription for an ulcer, simply because the band's substance has always trailed fifty paces behind their do-gooder/anti-corporate intentions, and like drones dedicated to the pitiful execution of a good idea, Fugazi's fans are somewhat hysterical due to their own inevitable conflicts about the band. The problem is that in wanting to be "accessible" to the "kids" Fugazi have embraced the zero-growth formula of the Rarnones, adding "different" elements so gradually that by the rime they show up their cultural value is nil. This time around, Fugazi heap on some lite Sonic Youth guitar action, which might mean something if it were 1986, but at this point only makes the band MTV-bound, gagged and ready. Ultimately, Fugazi's aesthetic failure is the failure of by-the-numbers liberals everywhere who've privileged group politics over individual creativity to such a degree that find themselves wishing for a human utopia without a single human in sight. Six Finger Satellite aren't serious, but they're ultimately more politically charged than Fugazi because they open up new possibilities of resistance to corporate dogma, new ways of saying NO without a 400- point plan. Fugazi's aesthetic puritanism is lame by itself, but it also serves to reinforce the irrelevant politics vs. aesthetics "debate" that leaves everyone who doesn't have a cardboard mind out in the cold. In short, one Dog Faced Hermans record is worth the entire Fugazi oeuvre, and anyone still waiting for the fulfillment of Fugazi's promise should go join Greenpeace and forget about this music.
   -J. Marlowe

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