Alec MacKaye is younger brother to D.C. scene fixture Ian MacKaye. Alec, right, is a talented guy who has sometimes worked in the shadow of his sibling’s influential groups Minor Threat and Fugazi. But it was the younger MacKaye’s band Faith that many fans connected with most in the early days of D.C. punk.
And what a band it was — full of people who would go on to keep D.C. music evolving. In addition to MacKaye (Untouchables, Ignition, the Warmers), Faith’s ranks included bassist Chris Bald (Embrace, Ignition), drummer Ivor Hanson (Embrace, Manifesto) and guitarists Michael Hampton (State of Alert, Embrace, One Last Wish, Manifesto) and, later, Eddie Janney (Rites of Spring, Happy Go Licky).
Like most Discord bands, Faith’s run was short: Between 1981 and 1983, the group released a 1982 split LP with Void and 1983’s “Subject to Change” EP, which has been fleshed out with the band’s December 1981 demo in a newly remastered reissue.
Faith took the snarl of British punk, sped it up and made distinctly American hardcore. The band was scrappier than Minor Threat, but perhaps it was Faith’s rawness that made audiences believe in it so deeply.