First Listen: Deathfix, 'Deathfix' D.C. musicians Brendan Canty (of Fugazi) and Rich Morel (of Bob Mould's band) make great pop full of unexpected turns on their debut album. Deathfix's melodies and harmonies feel like Big Star or even Queen, but the album also takes a fresh look forward.

First Listen: Deathfix, 'Deathfix'

Deathfix, 'Deathfix'

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Deathfix's self-titled debut album comes out on Feb. 26. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Courtesy of the artist

Deathfix's self-titled debut album comes out on Feb. 26.

Courtesy of the artist

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At a show one night in Washington, D.C., Brendan Canty — a legendary and active local drummer, Fugazi alumnus, filmmaker and music fan — handed me a home-burned CD. The disc was just silver, with no writing or markings on it and music by his new band Deathfix, in which he performs with his friend and former Bob Mould bandmate and producer, Rich Morel.

I promised to listen, but truth be told, it didn't take but a day for it to get swallowed up into the black hole that is my desk. While cleaning a few weeks later, I popped in the unlabeled CD, hit play, had no memory of what it was and flipped out — I just loved it. This was great pop full of unexpected turns; it looked back to melodies and harmonies that recall Big Star or even Queen, but it also had a fresh eye forward, with so many differences from song to song. What was it?

Then it all came back: Brendan at Comet Ping Pong, the conversation, Deathfix. I'm not sure who's most likely to love this record; it's a left-field oddity that's entirely accessible, yet fits in nowhere. It's one of those records where today's 25-year-olds will be asked the question a quarter-century from now, "What's your favorite record?" — and may well answer, "The first Deathfix album." In the meantime, this record is a real headturner. Give it a try.