i made a mistake. i went and looked at some of the other reviews before i started writing my own. my original review probably wouldn't have said much, because it's impossible for me to be objective about this album. but you know what, i was there for this - i saw it happen first-hand, and having read a bunch of people complaining that they sound like bands that came along after they did...kinda feels like i owe it to some random someone to put this out there. this was one of many projects ian was involved with, and is a direct descendent of minor threat. ian invented straightedge. he refused to platy shows that cost more than $5 to get into, because he wanted everyone to be able to go to shows. (i have a theory about how this ended up working out as a win for venues. knowing they were gonna get slaughtered at the door, they loaded the bill as much as they could, with the idea of making back their losses on future shows with opening acts, whose names were now much better-known.) anyway, ian was a big deal, is what i'm saying - though he was not (and probably still isn't) super comfortable with the idea of being a big deal. fugazi broke a bunch of rules musically, but they followed a bunch of others. they went into all kinds of improv live (as noted, i was there - at the channel in boston with 1200 other people sweating in leather and stomping in boots and reveling in the heat), and hell, the drummer (brendan canty) had a bell - like, kind of a big one - that he'd use in place of a cymbal sometimes. but at the same time, they were a reflection of their time, so a lot of the lyrics are angry screaming. sorry, that's just how it was. i like it, but i'm a product of that time, too. songs can feel a little repetitive - but that really really works when you're on your skateboard across town for 45 minutes to get to your girlfriend's house. and it works when you're in the pit and just swimming in the sea of humanity that was one of their shows. in short, this isn't an album that was meant to be on in the background while you write code - it's for going out and doing something in the world with. hit the ramp, hit the parking lot behind the grocery store and work on your power slides, climb a rock...whatever - just do a physical thing, and this album will feel more at home in your ears. if i'm wrong, i'll buy you a coke.