Listen: Fugazi streams impressive first demo from 1988

The Washington, D.C., punk band Fugazi, pictured in 1988, is releasing its first demo.
(Andy Perseponko)

Fugazi hasn’t put out a studio album since 2001’s “The Argument,” after which the great punk band from Washington, D.C., began what it’s referred to as an indefinite hiatus.

That’s finally set to change next week -- though not with a follow-up to “The Argument.”

Instead, the group will officially release its first demo recording: 11 songs Fugazi put down on tape at Virginia’s Inner Ear Studio in January 1988, months after the band played its first gig.

Titled “First Demo” with characteristic transparency, the album contains early versions of several songs that went on to become staples of Fugazi’s explosive live show, including “Waiting Room,” “Merchandise” and “Song #1.”


But don’t expect sloppy takes on material that was later sharpened: Even here the foursome sounds unusually tight, with Ian MacKaye and Guy Picciotto’s slashing guitars laid over bassist Joe Lally and drummer Brendan Canty’s funky, bottom-heavy rhythms. (Listen to a stream on SoundCloud.)

“First Demo” isn’t the only archival Fugazi music available to hear.

In a post, the band’s label, Dischord Records, said the new release coincides with the “completion of the intitial round of uploads to the Fugazi Live Series website,” which has information on every concert the group played and offers recordings of nearly 900 of them.

Twitter: @mikaelwood


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