This record makes the fifth Fugazi record I’ve heard and I’ve finally figured out that I like this period the best. I find their earliest records to be a little less musically interesting than this and Red Medicine. And though it’s been a very long time since I heard The Argument, I didn’t enjoy that at the time I heard it. (It’s really not fair to say that now, but when I was young I definitely did not like it.)
As with its sequel, In on the Kill Taker feels like the blueprint for all other ’90s post-hardcore (specifically At the Drive-In). Sure, other bands might have made more melodic and accessible versions of this, but Fugazi created the template.
I haven’t listened to any of their records recently enough but I will say that I feel like the set of songs may not be their best.
But they make up for it with their aggression and their aggressive weirdness, which feels amped up from their earlier records. (It’s instructive listening to this record after listening to straight-ahead punk from the same month. There’s just no comparison in which is more appealing to me.)
I think I likely would rank this behind Red Medicine if I listened to them all in a row, but I think this may be their second best record.
All songs by Guy Picciotto, Ian MacKaye, Joe Lally, and Brendan Canty.
- “Facet Squared” (lyrics: MacKaye) 2:42
- “Public Witness Program” (lyrics: Picciotto) 2:04
- “Returning the Screw” (lyrics: MacKaye) 3:13
- “Smallpox Champion” (lyrics: Picciotto) 4:01
- “Rend It” (lyrics: Picciotto) 3:48
- “23 Beats Off” (lyrics: MacKaye) 6:41
- “Sweet and Low” 3:36
- “Cassavetes” (lyrics: Picciotto) 2:30
- “Great Cop” (lyrics: MacKaye) 1:52
- “Walken’s Syndrome” (lyrics: Picciotto) 3:18
- “Instrument” (lyrics: MacKaye) 3:43
- “Last Chance for a Slow Dance” (lyrics: Picciotto) 4:38
- Ian Mackaye – vocals, guitar
- Guy Picciotto – vocals, guitar
- Joe Lally – bass
- Brendan Canty – drums
- Ted Niceley and Fugazi – production
- Don Zientara – engineering