Consumer Guide Reviews:Repeater [Dischord, 1990]
From the unyielding strictures of Minor Threat's straight-edge hardcore to the confrontational formalism of Fugazi's surgical AOR, Ian MacKaye is a musical puritan as well as all the other kinds. Obsessed with corruption, he's learned that words and voices don't excise it as efficiently as a well-honed guitar. So if the rock-solid precision of Guy Picciotto's distorto riffs offer something like pleasure, that's a contradiction MacKaye will have to live with, because Picciotto is the star of a unit that no matter what you read is just now coming on. A-
13 Songs [Dischord, 1990]
Steady Diet of Nothing [Dischord, 1991]
The Argument [Dischord, 2001]
Subjects for Further Research [1990s]: The most principled band of the '90s declined to send out promos, a decision I would have respected even if they hadn't been so stalwart in minimizing ticket prices, staging all-ages shows, and otherwise putting punk's D.C-based straight-edge ethos into practice. Since their Dischord label remained solvent as other indies went mainstream or under, I'm sure they understood venture capital better than me. I bought three early-'90s albums: 13 Songs, Repeater, and Steady Diet of Nothing. These were enough to convince me that from the strictures of Minor Threat's razor-sharp hardcore to the confrontational formalism of Fugazi's surgical AOR, Ian MacKaye has always been a musical puritan as well as all the other kinds. Obsessed with corruption, he figured out that words and voices don't excise it as efficiently as a well-honed guitar--specifically Guy Picciotto's precise, rock-solid distorto riffs. On Repeater, Picciotto offered something like pleasure. On the other two the resemblance was more abstract. I'm not any kind of puritan. So I stopped buying their records.