MISGUIDED: Fuggets 1981-84: CD

A fun thing about this New York proto-hardcore band’s “retrospective” CD is that you can track their progression not just by year but also by song length: while most of the earlier tracks barely break the minute mark, song lengths double and often triple as you work through the disc, culminating in the four-minute-plus live version of “I Can See You.” The music similarly progresses in proportion to the longer running times, with short, simple, guttural blasts a la The Fix giving way to more complex, almost poppy tunes creeping in by the time the band threw in the towel in 1984, a development made all the more interesting considering how many of them big city hardcore bands opted for the metal path to artistic bliss. In all, the assorted demos, live tracks, and EP cuts are well worth a listen and serve as a nice reminder of a time when all of this punk stuff was new, raw, and not overrun by career musicians slumming until a record deal is dropped in their laps.

 –jimmy (Mad at the World)