Black Flag

Reviews

Black Flag In My Head LP

I’ve tended to like their post-Damaged records a lot more than some people I know; here, instead of long, drawn-out solos, the songs are shorter and more concise, and therefore pack more punch. The cassette version contains three extra tracks.

Black Flag Loose Nut LP

My turn to do a BLACK FLAG review already? Uh-oh. OK, Side one has a couple of tunes that grab me, full of power and with a full sound. The rest of the slower numbers, and most all of Side two, leave me cold. I think it’s got something to do with the thinness and cleanness of the sound, making me focus in on the jazzy aspects and lyrics, which don’t do much for me. Seems like those memorable, catchy, sing-along noise days are history, except for pale imitations like “Modern Man” or “Best One Yet.”

Black Flag Live ’84 cassette

A superior quality live tape showcasing an evening with a seminal, legendary, masochistic, poignant, chaotic beast of an outfit who have not lost one iota of aggro. Will the years catch up with BLACK FLAG? Will they cease and desist this rampant high-speed lurch? Hope not…

Black Flag Family Man LP

Side one of this rather strange release contains a brace of spoken word recordings by BLACK FLAG, only one of which is graced by an instrumental backdrop, and most of which are OK as novelties. Side two has four metal-punk instrumentals, none of which are even passable. You have to be a pretty desperate BLACK FLAG fan to want to buy this LP.

Black Flag Slip It In LP

After My War, I was expecting the worst, but this new BLACK FLAG album is much better. Many of these songs have more streamlined drive and less self-indulgent pathos. Greg’s metallic guitar playing is generally too discordant and frenetic to fall into the heavy metal junkyard, and Henry seems to have brought his most annoying pretensions under control (except on “Rat’s Eyes”). Although nothing here approaches classics like “Nervous Breakdown” and “Jealous Again,” songs like “Wound Up,” the title cut, and “The Bars” are new reminders of BLACK FLAG’s power.

Black Flag My War LP

BLACK FLAG have worked long and hard to break ground for punk, and weathered a lot of legal harassment in the process, so it’s impossible to casually dismiss them for putting out a bad record. But that temptation certainly exists with the release of this album. To me, it sounds like BLACK FLAG doing an imitation of IRON MAIDEN imitating BLACK FLAG on a bad day. The shorter songs are rarely exciting, and the three tracks on the B-side are sheer torture. I know depression and pain are hallmarks of BLACK FLAG’s delivery, but boredom too?

Black Flag Everything Went Black 2xLP

If you’re one of those people who aren’t wildly enthusiastic about BLACK FLAG’s current metal orientation, this should be like a manna from heaven. It might even be the last BLACK FLAG record you’ll actually kill to buy. The records include all unreleased material and feature each of their first three vocalists. Keith’s (“Johnny’s”) vocals may be the most distinctive, and Greg’s guitar tone might attain the most piercing extremes in the Dez era, but I personally prefer the almost ideal balance achieved during Ron’s (“Chavo’s”) tenure as singer. Enough bullshit, this is a mandatory purchase that demonstrates why BLACK FLAG once headed the US punk pantheon, so buy it and pin your ears back.