So I'm an intern for a PR company that works with Coliseum, a hardcore band fronted by Ryan Patterson, a dude who knows the fuck out of his shit. I was doing some data entry style work when I came across a feature he participated in on Self-Titled called Needle Exchange, an ongoing series of playlists curated by a wide array of cool/interesting artists (like James Blackshaw and Wooden Shjips, both of whom are on the list of stuff I'll probably write about in the future). Ryan compiled a well-researched playlist of tracks by his favorite bands based out of Washington DC, featuring tracks from nearly 30 years of punk rock history.
I'm pretty picky when it comes to punk/hardcore, but what kind of guy who reads about music on the internet would I be if I didn't like Fugazi? Either way, Ryan from Coliseum, on this Needle Exchange comp, strayed away from too many obvious picks to make more room for hidden gems, stating "I left out a lot of obvious bands for obvious reasons (Minor Threat, Embrace, Rites Of Spring, The Nation Of Ulysses—you should own these records),"which is good move on his part.
One of the tracks selected was "My Better Half" by One Last Wish, a band formed by Guy Picciotto and two other members of Rites of Spring and the former guitarist for the proto-emo legends Embrace. The band only existed for four months, shortly before Guy and Brendan Canty joined Ian in Fugazi, but they managed to record one of the most innovative and interesting punk albums I've ever heard. "My Better Half" packs a ridiculous amount of hooks and ideas into two minutes. Guy's vocals are as impassioned and enthusiastic they are on any Fugazi track, and the guitar lines are consistently changing and propulsive. The rest of the album is almost as good as this.
The album is called 1986 and can be purchased from Dischord.