Fugazi's third album, STEADY DIET OF NOTHING, finds the Washington D.C. quartet in a restless mood. Although the group sticks to its typically incisive political and social commentary with its lyrics, the band's sound here is clearly in transition, with the bouncy grooves of earlier albums being replaced at times by complex rhythms and droning guitars. The latter is prevalent on the opening "Exit Only," which highlights buzzing feedback and Guy Picciotto's raspy vocals, and "Reclamation," which takes anthemic guitar riffs and Ian MacKaye's unmistakable voice and anchors them in dub-like bass and drums, courtesy of Joe Lally and Brendan Canty, respectively.
Elsewhere, the instrumental "Steady Diet" locks into tight, up-tempo rhythms, followed by the spare, melancholy "Long Division." Here MacKaye's almost-shouted monotone singing nearly subverts the song's beautiful melodies, but the whole, oddly enough, works to wonderful effect. For a blazing grand finale, Fugazi unleashes the gloriously fierce "KYEO" (which stands for "keep your eyes open"). When MacKaye screams "We will not be beaten down!" at the song's end, it's one of the band's finest moments, and a fitting conclusion to another bold Fugazi outing.
- Genre: Pop
- Format: Vinyl
- Released: 07/01/1991