Fugazi pushed the limits of their music quite a bit in End Hits. Anytime you listen to any of Fugazi’s records you were bound to come across some of their avant garde material. On this album you got tracks like “Break” and “Arpeggiator.” “Break” relied heavily on the palm-muting of guitar notes which mixed with an almost jazz-like drumming. Later on, a haunting piano and crawling bass riff would join in. Soft vocals came in much later aside from one of the vocalists that would shout, “Break!” “Arpeggiator” was a purely instrumental track. Lead by heavily reparative guitar picking, the song sort of gave you the feeling that it should be a soundtrack to some sort of professional race. Higher-pitched guitar work did break up the main riff through out the song as the bass took over the main riff, too.
Though there was quite a bit of experimentation on this album, Fugazi did include a good number of more straight-forward, but stellar hardcore tracks such as “Five Corporations” and “Caustic Acrostic.” What made “Five Corporations” such a fantastic track was its usage of sliding and palm-muting in the intro and its hypnotic main guitar riff. When the gang vocals meshed during the highly repetitive chorus they form what seemed to be like an impenetrable and formidable front. Following “Five Corporations” is “Caustic Acrostic.” While Ian Mackaye took on the lead vocals in “Five Corporation,” Guy Picciotto took over for “Caustic Acrostic.” After a brief guitar intro, Guy’s vocals blasted right in. The bright riff in the intro dominated a good portion what he yelled over through out the song. The chorus had this great build up that follows his vocals which led into a brief instrumental bridge that eventually exploded into a faster and more “in-your-face” and rowdy outro.
End Hits was an album that didn’t get the appreciation that it deserved. It really did belong “up there” with what were considered Fugazi’s classic albums. They touched upon some really weird and cool experimentation and really pushed their sound in some songs, while others were some awesome and hard-hitting hardcore anthems. It's even arguable that it is one of the best records to come out in the late 90’s. - Ricky Frankel