It's funny, but for as long as Ian MacKaye has been making incredible, vastly influential music, no one's really stopped to think of him as a songwriter. Of course, isolating his contributions to Fugazi isn't easy. The band has long thrived on an almost telepathic symbiosis, with MacKaye and fellow singer/guitarist Guy Picciotto acting as two inseparable halves of a whole. The Evens, consequently, sounds like a Fugazi record without Fugazi. But it's far from a solo project. Abetted by Amy Farina of the Warmers, who contributes dense, lyrical drumming and slyly sweet vocals, MacKaye spins a dozen songs' worth of his trademark vitriol dissolved in an obliquely catchy dose of post-punk. But as the album fades out in a burst of tightly clenched chords and breath-drenched harmonies, it becomes patently apparent that MacKaye is more than just a hardcore icon: He can, and does, write the hell out of a song.