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Various - Black On Black: A Tribute to Black Flag (Cover Artwork)

Various

Various: Black On Black: A Tribute to Black FlagBlack On Black: A Tribute to Black Flag (2003)
Black Flag

Reviewer Rating: 3
User Rating:


Contributed by: moldymoldy
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Black Flag is arguably one of the most important bands that have ever existed. In the short time they existed, founding guitarist Greg Ginn and a revolving door of musicians were able to invent hardcore, pioneer the independent touring circuit, create a model independent label, reinvent hardcore on.
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Black Flag is arguably one of the most important bands that have ever existed. In the short time they existed, founding guitarist Greg Ginn and a revolving door of musicians were able to invent hardcore, pioneer the independent touring circuit, create a model independent label, reinvent hardcore once again, and create some of the heaviest in-your-face music that has ever been recorded. So naturally, being such an influential band, tribute albums are bound to happen.

Personally, I don't like tributes, sometimes they work, but most often they don't. Sometimes it is cool to hear your favorite bands of today playing favorites from yesterday, and in some cases it can get younger fans into the old bands. However I'm still undecided about this. There are some great covers on here from some of the biggest hardcore bands of the moment, and then there are those that just fall flat on their faces like the kid that stage dives at the wrong moment. Give Up the Ghost (formally American Nightmare) does the best track on here with Depression. It was the first song on the album and it really grabs the listeners' attention just like it.

A cool collector nerd tidbit: at least on mine they are billed as American Nothing, so if you don't like the new name and want the last (only) thing with Nothing attached to it, pick it up. Also for the collectors and music nerds this disc also has the first recordings of the Dillinger Escape Plan's new vocalist Greg Puciato on Damaged I & II, which is done in a very straight forward manner with very little of the DEP style thrown in. The new guy sounds decent, a little different than the earlier ones, but now I'm looking forward to some new stuff from them. Burnt By the Sun's version of Drinking and Driving was really well done as was the Hope Conspiracy's Nervous Breakdown. With these four groups, I thought nothing could bring this album down, but Coalesce finds a way with possibly the worst version of Jealous Again that I have ever heard. They slowed the song down way to much and the singer sounds like he is trying to take a shit, and that describes the way it sounds shitty shitty shitty.

Converge doesn't fare to well with Annihilate This Week either. It's done in their typical style, which doesn't fit the song at all, especially when they slow down during the chorus and then speed up during the verses. Rounding out the disc were rather inoffensive versions of Life of Pain by Anodyne and Police Story, Wasted by Planes Mistaken for Stars. These bands don't do a bad job with the songs, but then again it's not anything to write home about. Playing Enemy's noisy rendition of Six Pack did little more than make me want a six pack.

This album had some really great songs and some really bad ones with a few songs in-between. I would say pick this album up if you're already a Flag fan and just want to hear these bands play homage to their heroes. Also the DEP track is great, and fans of them might want to get this just to get a preview of the new singer. But if you're new to Black Flag, do yourself a favor and just buy First Four Years, Damaged, and My War before you get this one.

 


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (April 28, 2003)

First Black Flag EP came out in 1978, they formed in 1977, the first actual full length album came out in 1981. But by then the Flag had already proven themselves leaders of the touring curcuit. But the real shit didn't occur until later, when they were pulling off crazy stuff like 50 shows in 50 days while traveling in a shitty van packed with people. I think very few bands have been through that much.

Anonymous (April 28, 2003)

"while its true that the clash and ramones toured quite a bit but your forgetting one thing, they were both on major labels, cbs and warner bros, which means while not always doing stadiums, they had the major tour networks lined up for them and the tour support that comes with it, jello talks on his new spoken word that he saw the ramones open for a prog rock band. Black flag was able to tour on thier own in a small van sometiems barely making gas money, and in the process opened many areas up to booking smaller out of town bands."

When did the first Black Flag album come out? 1980? Sorry, but by then there were a lot of other strictly DIY non major label bands. What do you think it was like for the Clash the year they formed? They were around for quite some time traveling the British circuit... There were already so many DIY bands around before Black Flag, I fail to see the "they were straight DIY" argument compelling...

I like them though. Personally, when it comes to second generation punk, I prefer the Embarrassment.

Anonymous (April 28, 2003)

A band's live show is not a good argument in support of them... CRASS and DK are greatness... Black Flag is just horribly outdated hardcore.

Anonymous (April 28, 2003)

Pretty cool comp. The Coalesce, Hope Conspiracy, DEP, and PMFS tunes rocked me.

Ramo

METALCORE!#@!$!#$@!#@$#@

waste_elite (April 28, 2003)

Joy Division? seriously man, what the fuck?

the wipers were the first grunge band.

Anonymous (April 28, 2003)

while its true that the clash and ramones toured quite a bit but your forgetting one thing, they were both on major labels, cbs and warner bros, which means while not always doing stadiums, they had the major tour networks lined up for them and the tour support that comes with it, jello talks on his new spoken word that he saw the ramones open for a prog rock band. Black flag was able to tour on thier own in a small van sometiems barely making gas money, and in the process opened many areas up to booking smaller out of town bands.

Anonymous (April 28, 2003)

didnt the nervous breakdown ep come out in 77 or 78, i cant remember right now. As for intense flag owns all others plus they got the praise from thier hereos and the founders of punk, ive heard rollins talk about the time they got a letter from wayne kramer(mc5) and how excited they were that he loved thier band, and they got iggy to record a track on their tribute(rise above) you have to be important for iggy to salute you

Anonymous (April 27, 2003)

Flag had the best live show, Kennedy's had the best lyrics. Crass is somewhere in between.

Anonymous (April 27, 2003)

I like CRASS and Dead Kennedys a lot more than Black Flag.

Anonymous (April 27, 2003)

Ok they didn't invent it, but they were the best.

Anonymous (April 27, 2003)

just give me my husker du.

Anonymous (April 27, 2003)

I believe the first band to use what would be known as "Grunge" was Joy Division... Before you say, "Oh that's just pussy synth shit!" down load a song by them called "Leaders of Men"... Nirvana blatantly ripped them off on many occasions. Black Flag... they're good for what they are, but you people are talking as if they invented hardcore. And I don't think the Damned get that honor, really. It goes to CRASS. "The Feeding of the 5000" came out in 1977!

Anonymous (April 27, 2003)

"I actually disagree....I think Black Flag was the single most important band of the past 25 years. Why? They basically single handedly dismantled the indie music structure and created it as we know it. Before the Flag there were only a few punk bands that REALLY toured, and they weren't very consistent."

Sorry, guy. While I like a lot of bands more than them, the honor of being most influential would have to go to the Ramones. Even early Black Flag sounds like the Ramones... And they, along with the Clash, the Damned, and many others, toured quite consistently. While I greatly enjoy every stage of Black Flag up to the macho "My War" album, early hardcore was probably an invention of the Damned. Listen to "The Captain's Birthday Party" to see what I mean... They sped up "New Rose" to make it go about twice as fast as the studio version!

Anonymous (April 27, 2003)

La La La I got the limited edition planes mistaken for stars black flag 7" and you didnt. La La La it's sold out.

http://www.initialrecords.com/label/discography/limited.h tml

U N V ME!

Anonymous (April 27, 2003)

Shit, Tool and NIN consider Flag an influence.

Anonymous (April 27, 2003)

I actually disagree....I think Black Flag was the single most important band of the past 25 years. Why? They basically single handedly dismantled the indie music structure and created it as we know it. Before the Flag there were only a few punk bands that REALLY toured, and they weren't very consistent. Plus, there hadn't been music that raw and uncompromising.....ever. They were louder, angrier and more ferocious (especially live) than any band EVER, and they didn't even need to always use disturbing lyrics to get that edge. The haunting sound of Ginn's guitar and Rollins inhuman howls are enough to make any Slayer or Slipknot wannabe runaway in terror, simply because it wasn't a show. It wasn't fake, it was REAL emotion and that's what made it so great. So in a sense I think that brutal music in general would not be the same without the Flag..........I mean, really heavy hardcore and thrash didn't even exist until after the Flag's formation. They created REAL brutality in music. I'd say that's a pretty important landmark if you ask me. And they had such a wide influence...even bands you wouldn't figure. Everything from your Slayers, Dillinger Escapes, Good Riddance, Pennywise, to Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, and soooooo many others would have never been the same without the Flag influencing them. Ice T once said that Rollins intensity in Flag was what inspired his own onstage intensity with his career. Jurt Cobain stated that the Flag was the single most important band in history to him (or something along those lines). Greg Graffin said he loved Flag. The entire "Grudge" style of music can be traced to one band....Black Flag and their 1984 albums My War and Slip It In are probably the first albums with a high "grundge" tendency, as were Flipper's albums. Most of those Seattle grudge bands will sight Flag as one of their biggest influences. Even the fraking Sugar Ray guy (lol, eeeek) says that he loved the Flag. Alice Cooper praised them as being amazing. I mean, these guys were legendary.

waste_elite (April 27, 2003)

i'd also like to add that i think black flag's most important contribution to music wasn't even their music, it was their method of operation and DIY ethic that proved to be most influential (the live show didn't hurt either).

waste_elite (April 27, 2003)

oh, i don't argue the fact that black flag was important, they're just far from being one of the most important bands of all time.

Anonymous (April 27, 2003)

You know what bands it would be great to see cover Black Flag? I'd love to see Good Riddance to some more Flag, they were really great with "My War". I think F Minus would be cool to see play Flag, imagine F Minus covering "Nothing Left Inside"? That'd be fucking badass. It'd be interesting to see the Blood Brothers covering Flag, Leftover Crack might be cool. Missing 23rd, Rise Against, Shai Hulud (they, suprisingly, did great with BR and BB covers), Strife, Strike Anywhere, The Unseen, Mars Volta...shit, there are a million bands.

Anonymous (April 27, 2003)

well, you see, if the rating is perfect (5 stars) then it is gold. Everything else is blue.

Anonymous (April 27, 2003)

What is the difference between blue stars and yellow stars?

There can be 2 4-start ratings, but for some reason one is blue, and one is yellow.

What is up with that?

Anonymous (April 27, 2003)

alpha motherfuckers is the best tribute ever.
this cd, however, has too many generic bands genericisizing good songs.

Anonymous (April 26, 2003)

i think planes mistaken for stars blow everyone else on this comp away, but thats just me.

Anonymous (April 26, 2003)

oh, according to the cross bio, he like intentionally lied about seeing black flag... new alliance also released a huskers single... mike watt just kicks that much ass.

Anonymous (April 26, 2003)

Yeah, technically they did. But BF/SST put on loads of the shows that Descendents/Minutemen both played at when they started out.
Re Cobain: You're probably right (I don't really know much about him), I think I read it somewhere and I couldn't be assed doing my research fully before posting.

Anonymous (April 26, 2003)

Cobain's first gig wasn't Black Flag, he liked to lie... it was Sammy Hagar.

TheOneTrueBill (April 26, 2003)

you hit it on the head. but technicly, didn't New Alliance put out most of the Descendents and Minutemen stuff, then it got sold to SST?

Anonymous (April 26, 2003)

To the guy who said that calling Black Flag one of the... was pushing it:

Before Black Flag there was no US-wide network of venues, they toured constantly playing small towns and paved the way for others to do the same.
In SST they had a (for a while, just like the band I guess) very successful independant record label which put out records by the likes of Descendents, Husker Du, Sonic Youth, and the Minutemen, bands which might never have put out any (more) records otherwise.
The amount of people who went to Black Flag shows and then took an active role in music (or helped to shape the direction they took) is astounding. Kurt Cobain got a Black Flag tatoo after hitching to get to a BF gig (his first).
My friend is into indie-rock (Pavement and the likes, a bit of emo) and you wouldn't think that his favourite bands were in any way influenced by BF by listening to them, however he was always coming up to me and going 'What's the deal with Black Flag, a bunch of the bands I like say that they're their main inspiration.'

Anonymous (April 26, 2003)

Pretty cool comp. The Coalesce, Hope Conspiracy, DEP, and PMFS tunes rocked me.

Ramo

TheOneTrueBill (April 26, 2003)

i wouldn't call 8 years short, but whatever you think is best.

I'm not into this new breed stuff. Give me My War.

Anonymous (April 25, 2003)

Black Flag was the hardest, most brutal band of all time......but I'm not really digging this. There is simply too much "chugga chugga, growl growl" cookie monster shit going on. Black Flag was a million times more intense than any of these bands and they never had to resort to sounding like the cookie monster on crack. Some of the covers are good, but none truely pay tribute to the Flag's greatness. Get Rise Above instead. The score is for Flag.

Anonymous (April 25, 2003)

fuck the ass who said coalesce suck...

Icapped2pac (April 25, 2003)

I don't like a lot of really heavy heavy music, but Coalesce definitely devoured my fucking soul at Michiganfest last year. My liking their music started out as a fascination when a friend showed them to me and pointed out the crazy time-signature changes. But as I listened to it more, I began to appreciate and even like it. Anyone who thinks James Dewees is just a pussy emo pretty boy should watch him wreck a fucking drum set. Oh wait, shit, that's right, you may never get to, because just like all great bands, they broke up just as they got rolling. I saw the Casket Lottery with Small Brown Bike in K-zoo a month or two ago and asked Stacy, "will Coalesce ever record again?" He gave me a smirk and a definitive "no". At least Dillenger didn't quit when they lost their vocalist. I'm eager to hear the new stuff. My office chair, however, wishes they would've broken up (see "How It Ends" review).

waste_elite (April 25, 2003)

"Black Flag is arguably one of the most important bands that have ever existed"

yeah, quite arguably. i dig black flag, but that's pushing it.

Anonymous (April 25, 2003)

coalesce suck......METAL METAL GRRRRRRR

Anonymous (April 25, 2003)

The Hope Conspiracy track slays.

-sickboi

FortyMinutesWest (April 25, 2003)

They're billed as American Nothing on the Point Break comp as well, just to let you know. Oh and, Coalesce, as previously noted, will eat your soul.

Anonymous (April 25, 2003)

Coalesce will eat your soul! (if they were not broken up again).

great review by the way.

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