Punknews.org
Various - Rise Above - 24 Black Flag Songs (Cover Artwork)

Various

Various: Rise Above - 24 Black Flag SongsRise Above - 24 Black Flag Songs (2002)
Black Flag

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:


Contributed by: BrandonSideleauBrandonSideleau
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Black Flag, easily the most harsh, brutal, and rebelious band of all time, was a suitable band to cover for ex-Flag frontman Henry Rollins' West Memphis 3 Benefit Album. First off, the West Memphis 3 are 3 young men who were convicted in 1994 of killing 3 young kids. Whether they are guilty or not i.
Amazon


Black Flag, easily the most harsh, brutal, and rebelious band of all time, was a suitable band to cover for ex-Flag frontman Henry Rollins' West Memphis 3 Benefit Album. First off, the West Memphis 3 are 3 young men who were convicted in 1994 of killing 3 young kids. Whether they are guilty or not is not certain, but what IS certain is that these young men had an unfair and unjust trial full of poor defence and questionable evidence. For more information rent the HBO documentary "Paradise Lost" or the new book "Devil's Knot". Anyway, on to the album itself- brutal, loud, distorted and totally rockin'!

The album is a pounding 24 (yes I said 24) song punk extravaganza! It comes off to a blistering start with a "public service anouncement" so to speak by Chuck D. and then cuts into Henry's new version of "Rise Above". Rollins sings angrily and his band is as dynamic as ever (if you've heard "Get Some Go Again" or "Nice" you know what I mean about how great his backing band is).

Next is Keith Morris returning to "Nervous Breakdown", and the results are astonishing. It is just as creepy and intense as the original, if not more so. He screams, snarls, yells and pretty much goes insane the way you'd expect our Circle Jerks frontman to.

Iggy Pop rips through "Fix Me" sounding very menacing the whole time, purely a great song. Next Neil Fallon from the band Clutch gives an equally intense preformance of "American Waste" and Cedric Bixler Zavala is as creepy and chilling as Keith Morris on a version of "I've Had It" which also rivals the original in some ways. Jeff Moreira of Poison The Well and Corey Taylor give intense and powerful vocals on "I've Heard It Before" & "Room 13".

Then, suddenly, the album switches to a very entertaining and head bobbing Ramones-ish version of "Wasted" with Henry Rollins and Exene Cervenka singing in key with each other, good and fun stuff. Nick Oliveri of Queens of the Stone Age sounds actually a lot like Chavo while singing "Jealous Again"- so much so that for a minute I thought I was listening to the original, but then he started to scream and it sent chills down my spine. Henry lends his vocals to the fun update of "TV Party", the song is particularly hilarious due to the fact that all of the shows yelled are new ones like "Temptation Island", "Judge Judy" and, even more humorous, "Night Visions"!

Hank III then comes in and serves up a disturbing version of "No Values" full of snarling and angry yells even more intense than the original, great stuff. Casey Chaos goes insane on "Depression", he also seems to sound a little similar to Keith Morris, but different enough to make the song sound excitingly dark- again, this new version is just as intense as the original. Ice T, who's no stranger to punk or metal, kicks out the hard jams on the fitting "Police Story". Slayer's Tom Araya was also a perfect choice for "Revenge"- it comes off thrashing and brutal.

Former Black Flag Bassist Chuck Dukowski returns to sing a Flag song for the second time (he sang "You Bet We Got Something Against You!" in 1980's Jealous Again) and he sounds great. Lemmy's version of "Thirsty & Miserable" is a good cut from all of the speedy stuff, giving the album a good groove. Even Tim Armstrong and Lars Fredricksen sing on "No More", which sounds just as intense as the newest Rancid record.

From this point on Henry sings evey song with a few popping guest vocals by the likes of Inger Lorre on "Slip It In" and former Black Flag bassist Kira Roessler on "Annihilate This Week". Finally, last, but definitely not least, Henry sings the Flag classic "My War" with vigor and intense rage as you'd expect. There is a bonus final live track with Ryan Adams singing an acoustic version of "Nervous Breakdown" and it is suitably creepy. Overall......if you ever liked Black Flag, Rollins or any of these artists you NEED this album, and if you just want to celebrate a good cause you NEED to buy it as well. Excellent, far and beyond the call of duty preformances from all. I'm only wondering what happened to Jim Lindberg from Pennywise 's take on "Don't Care". Oh well, excellent album.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
High on Fire - Snakes for the DivineSwingin' Utters - A Juvenile Product of the Working ClassNOFX - Backstage Passport [DVD]Discharge - WhyBad Religion - 80-85From Ashes Rise - NightmaresBad Religion - TestedThe Clash - London CallingDie Hunns - You Rot MeOne Man Army - Rumors and Headlines

Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
misterspike (November 18, 2006)

"I'm only wondering what happened to Jim Lindberg from Pennywise 's take on 'Don't Care'. "

Apparently he asked the track to be pulled as he had some reservations regarding the case. Rollins touches on it in his "Broken Summers" book. The book is essentially his journals documenting the making of this record and the tour that followed.

misterspike (November 18, 2006)

"tribute" records are usually shit. This is a Big exception. The tour that Rollins and Morris did on this record was shit-hot, and worth the price of admission if only to see Rollins belt out "My War" one last time.

bombsaway (July 28, 2006)

Good shit, alot of great artist. Love the new "Rise Above" version.

Anonymous (September 10, 2005)

This shizzy is so punx my gosh is this so hardcore

me loves eet

-Will

punkboy_1 (January 23, 2003)

this is incredible. every song is great and i don't even mind the slipknot guy. the cause makes this worth buying alone. add the fact that it is a black flag tribute and you have one kick ass album. i hope this raises awarness and plenty of money for the wm3.

Anonymous (November 6, 2002)

This album is great and these songs still sound good even today. From what I hear, Greg Ginn isn't doing much these days but playing mind games with people and workng on solo stuff where he plays everything and attempts to even sing.

Anonymous (October 25, 2002)

What a freaking great album. I listened to it three times consecutively the day I bought it. In fact, that same day I picked up seven other albums, and not a single one of them got near my CD player. This is quite simply a furious, bomb-proof, highly rocking album. Hopefully Blink182 will hear it, take the cue, and fuck off, having realized what punk rock really is.

Anonymous (October 25, 2002)

I agree, most of the shit bands out there haven't changed in 10 years. But the Flag grew creatively and musically to an astonishing extent. The only thing remianing intact was the core of Black Flag's meaning- intensity, anger, and chaotically awesome guitar solos! All Flag albums kicked ass, the only thing even remotely wrong with any of them was the very muddy prodcution on "My war", which wasn't the band's fault at all!

Anonymous (October 25, 2002)

I think anyone who says Black Flag died when Rollins joined the band is just ignoring the facts. The facts are that this was Greg Ginn's band. Rollins was never the head of this band. The band was going in a diffrent direction and that was Greg's decision. But Rollins was happy to go along with it because he knew that he was playing with the baddest band in the world. Other things to consider, if the band had stuck with the same formula until they broke up how exciting would that be? Punk rock has to evolve otherwise it eventually turns into utter shit. Look at all these "punk" bands that have been making the same music for years and the new ones that are doing something thats been done 1000 times. Listen to Nervous Breakdown and then listen to the last LP In My Head. It's called progression. Look it up in the dictionary man. Most of you know are cool and know what im talking about but theres always a few Rollins haters in the crowd. It's fine if you dont like Rollins but a lot of people seem to write him off after Black Flag because he wasnt punk anymore or wasnt this or right. Another thing I must say is that this Rise Above album is wonderful Kudos to Rollins. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I think Black Flag is the greatest band that ever walked the earth. And you Rollins haters need to get your head checked and go listen to Damaged. 21 years after its release its still the MOST INTENSE record i've ever heard. Most of this new "hardcore" music is so weak. It makes me laugh. I'm sure you all know what I mean too.

waste_elite (October 24, 2002)

i saw a flag DVD in my local indie store a while back but i didn't have enough money. came back the next day and it was gone. man, i was pissed. ill have to order this thing.

Anonymous (October 23, 2002)

Hey Wate_elite....buy the new Black Flag LIVE! DVD online, it is of excellent quality and is of an excellent show of Black Flag in England in 1984, it really captures the intensity of the Flag at their finest. I think it's $22 and is well worth, I watched it so much that my DVD began to skip and I had to get it fixed. That's the only really good quality Flag recording readily availible. I mean, there is a VHS Target Video of them in '81 that is of great quality (no DVD though) but it is very hard to find now, and there is also the Black Flag live in San Fransisco '84 which was the "Big" release for them back in the '80's, it is of average to poor quality depending on the tapes condition however and is hard to find. I was luckjy enough to find one in the used music videos bin at my local Cd City, it looks like its the original copy from 1984. So your best bet would be the online only (or though it seems) DVD.

waste_elite (October 23, 2002)

god, i love this band. i haven't listened to Black Flag in months but this record inspired me to pull out the old albums. good shit.

to the guy who said black flag died the day rollins joined is an idiot. flag was alway's about ginn, henry was just a mouthpiece (no offense intended). i've never had the chance to witness these guys live as i was just a child back then, so i can't comment on who was the "most intense" live singer. i came across a black flag website a while ago that had a bunch of concert reviews from back in the day. defenitely an interesting read, i suggest you track it down. as for the albums, i'm going to have to go with rollins era as my personal favorite. that was when they were at their creative peak in my opinion. the guy's description of henry below me was dead on.

Anonymous (October 23, 2002)

Rollins is really the only guy who gained anything after Black Flag, whcih is cool for him (he definitely deserved it), his solo stuff is awesome, but it would have been great if the other guys did too.

Anonymous (October 23, 2002)

Greg went with his band Gone in '86, they broke up in '87 and Rollins took them as his original backing band. Greg did some solo stuff and continued to run SST and Cruz records. Today he stilll does solo work (very low profile), he did a few more Gone albums in the 90's and he plays in the band Confront James.Nothing truely exciting since black flag.

Anonymous (October 23, 2002)

What ever happend to Greg Ginn anyway?

Anonymous (October 23, 2002)

I think it's fair to say both all eras of Black flag brought excellent music. Early Black flag was punk rock, switching to excellent hardcore, then morphing into an awesome metal-hardcore-jazz-punk hybrid. Either way this band was violent, intense and brutal. anyway, why are we argueing. Everybody's got their own opinion. ther is no "right" opinion. I personally like Rollins best, but i like the other guys too. flag couldn't go wrong in my opnion.

Anonymous (October 23, 2002)

Yeah, I saw 'em in '80, '82, '84, and '86 all in LA and Rollins took the cake for me WAYYY more than Chavo did, Chavo just wasn't that intense. Rollins was like a caged animal. He wasn't so much a "punk" as he was a fire breathing depressed caged beast. Sure, he didn't "connect" with the kids, but no one really connected with anyone. I guess it was all in what you liked. If you were into connecting with your peers then you probably wouldn't enjoy Rollins, if you were into doing things yourself and alone, then you'd like Rollins. So I liked Rollins, for me '84 and '86 were the best cause the bands muscianship was skyrocketing to exciting new levels. Greg was become more and more experimental and violent with his music and Henry was becoming a tighter singer. If you ever heard the "In My Head" stuff played live youd know what i mean.

Anonymous (October 23, 2002)

To the guy way below have you've ever seen Black Flag live?
I did back in 1980-1983.
Starwood,Vex,Stardust Ballroom,Devonshire Downs,Cuckoos Nest,once in San Diego,Dancing Waters,Barn,etc.
I don't want to sound like punker than thou but let's face it folks the greatest versions of Black Flag were Keith,Ron(Chavo),and Dez.
Sorry but Rollins didn't cut it for me kids.Not that I don't respect Henry it's just in my honest opinion that nothing tops Black Flag circa 79/80/early 81.Trust me if you were there you'd totally understand what I'm talking about but then again to each his own and to the guy way below who said that when Henry joined they began to rock FALSE!WRONG!NO!I DON'T THINK SO,SORRY!
What fucking planet are you from or what year were you born?
You've got to be kidding me.
To actually witness a Black Flag concert back then was a very bold decision to make.Trust me the way kids look today that shit would have never flown at a Black Flag concert back then.
No fucking chance in hell.
I really hope that one day they do reunite with all the lineups so you can see what I mean because it will be worth the wait and most of all the experience.
Do the creepy crawl!
Yeah Dez..............

kirbypuckett (October 23, 2002)

CEDRIC!

I'm not a huge Black Flag fan, I just can't seem to get into it, I don't know why. Perhaps it's because I've only downloaded their material and I have no idea of what era's of Black Flag it emerged from. I never see their records at used record stores (which should say something)...I dunno we'll see. I'd like to check this out anyways...

- Scott
http://www.local-felons.com/~uw/
(Walter Cronkite @ RMU!)

Anonymous (October 23, 2002)

"The only thing is that you forgot to mention that Mike Patton of Faith No More / Mr. Bungle / Tomahawk / Lovage / Peeping Tom / Phantomas fame does a version of six pack"

Can't forget his recent one-off debut with the Dillinger Escape Plan...ahh Mike Patton is so rocking....as is this album, i'm sure...

Jimi

waste_elite (October 22, 2002)

picked this up today and it kicks ass.

why am i not surprised?

sickboi (October 22, 2002)

ONETRUEBILL:

Are you serious? You seem like a level-headed guy....
There is NO WAY it is better than the original "My War"...
For shame....

Anonymous (October 22, 2002)

I can't wait until this "emo" shit dies and some really cool, "take no prisoners" kind of raw rock surfaces and ignores the mainstream.

Anonymous (October 22, 2002)

Why can't more bands be as great as the Flag were?

TheOneTrueBill (October 22, 2002)

yeah... it's great. the version of my war is even better than the original, i swear. and if you forget that it's Corey Taylor singing, room 13 isn't bad

Anonymous (October 22, 2002)

Anyone who is visting this site and reading this review ought to get up off their lazy ass and buy this cd. ESPECIALLY if you are one of these new Drive-Thru kids who think The Starting Line is a punk band. Your money will actually go to a worthy cause instead of some money-grubbing kid who thinks he's a punk rocker.

Anonymous (October 22, 2002)

Black Flag is terrible.

Where's my emo cd's? I need to cry.

-Scotty

Anonymous (October 22, 2002)

Great songs like Three Nights, Forever Time, Nothing Left Inside, I'm The One, In My Head, My Ghetto, Best One Yet, Sinking, Paralyzed, Drinking & driving, This Is Good, The Bars, Rat's Eyes, Swinging Man, and Wound Up were all written by Henry. Some of those tunes are the Flag's most creative and violent songs.

Anonymous (October 22, 2002)

henry rollins never wrote any music, so how did it die when he joined, all he did was scream. Greg Ginn was it total control of all music, lyrics, and any decisions black flag made. henry rollins really just sang

Anonymous (October 22, 2002)

It's pretty funny when an album of covers blows away almost every original release this year! Then again, it's covers of the best band of all time with some of the greatest singers around right now. Plus your helping a good cause AND discovering some great vocalists with this album. After listening to this i went and checked out Amen's new album and Mars Volta's as well...and they are both stunningly awesome. Even Corey Taylor's cover of "Room 13" is excellent. Then again, I never had a problem with this guy to begin with so...

Hamish (October 22, 2002)

I can't wait to get my greedy little hands on this.

moldy (October 22, 2002)

great album and review, saves me the trouble. I thought that everything sounded great on this album, it was also nice to be able to hear the early BF songs with more production than they were able to afford when they were originally done.

Anonymous (October 22, 2002)

Black Flag began to ROCK the day Rollins joined.Look at this wannabe poser below me, HA! You wouldn't know music if it slapped u in the face. This album rocks.

Anonymous (October 22, 2002)

Black flag died the day rollins joined. Next please!

Anonymous (October 22, 2002)

This album is better than most of the crap you own. No 'Loose Nut' though.

-sickboi

Anonymous (October 22, 2002)

Great review, this album rocks. The only thing is that you forgot to mention that Mike Patton of Faith No More / Mr. Bungle / Tomahawk / Lovage / Peeping Tom / Phantomas fame does a version of six pack. I think its probally one of the weaker songs on the album, but its just funny to hear him sarcasticly scream along.

waste_elite (October 22, 2002)

"Henry lends his vocals to the fun update of "TV Party", the song is particularly hilarious due to the fact that all of the shows yelled are new ones like "Temptation Island", "Judge Judy" and, even more humorous, "Night Visions"!"

that's hilarious. i completely forgot about this thing, i'm gonna go get it today.

Exclusive Streams

Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Other Places to Go