- Fugazi: Ian MacKaye, Guy Picciotto (vocals, guitar); Joe Lally (vocals, bass); Brendan Canty (drums).
- Additional personnel: Amy Domingues (cello); Jerry Busher (drums, percussion); Bridget Cross, Kathi Wilcox (background vocals).
- Recorded in January & February 2001.
- Possessing few peers in the world of fiery, angular, angry indie-rock, D.C. icon Fugazi holds an unassailable place at or near the top of the DIY aesthetic. THE ARGUMENT, their eighth full-length release, still exhibits the unpredictability of form, jagged edges and impassioned, potent lyrics that carried them through the '90s. However, with its underlying melodic hooks, it hearkens back more to early-'80s art punks like Mission Of Burma or The Fall. On tracks like "Full Disclosure" the sound looks even further back, sounding practically glam.
- Despite the element of retrograde, the sound on THE ARGUMENT remains undeniably Fugazi's own, organic and compelling. There is certainly the occasional track, most notably "Ex-Spectator," that would fit seamlessly on MARGIN WALKER or REPEATER, and tracks such as the defiant "Cashout" and "Epic Problem" rant and rage with requisite fury. On the other end of the spectrum is the title track, unadulterated indie-pop practically out of the songbook of a band like Sloan.
Rolling Stone (12/13/01, p.152) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...A bracing corrective to the misconceptions of punk's original intent..."
Spin (1/02, pp.107-8) - 9 out of 10 - "...Their formal fidgeting and steadfast belief in defiance and difference produce a new kind of punk alchemy. Again."
Entertainment Weekly (11/9/01, p.110) - "...Raw and affecting..." - Rating: B
Q (12/01, p.135) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...This has renewed sparkle, raiding indie-pop territory with harmonies, hand-claps and even the odd acoustic guitar..."
Uncut (12/01, p.102) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...THE ARGUMENT showcases a band of uncommon power grappling with subtler shades as well as their quiet/loud, dub-influenced trademark sound. What's more, they've never sounded more potent..."
Alternative Press (2/02, p.65) - Ranked #19 in AP's "25 Best Albums of 2001".
Alternative Press (12/01, p.82) - 8 out of 10 - "...Fugazi's sound has never been static...Lyrically, they are still making th epersonal political, battling globalization, ignorance and greed at the human level..."
Magnet (12-1/02, p.87) - "...Timelier than ever..."
Mojo (Publisher) (11/01, p.98) - "...Exploring the limits of boith their voices and guitars...Fugazi still have plenty of new tricks to teach the young pups of today's scene."
NME (Magazine) (12/29/01, p.59) - Ranked #19 in NME's 50 "Albums Of the Year 2001".
NME (Magazine) (10/6/01, p.42) - 8 out of 10 - "...It's the sound of an inspirational band, renewed, at play."