Black Flag - TV Party [EP] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Black Flag

TV Party [EP] (1982)


This isn't an EP that I'd call it necessary but shit it's still Damaged era Black Flag so consider that a partial endorsement. This seven minute compilation of two B-sides and a re-recorded "TV Party" done at Unicorn's behest is fun, showing a glimpse of the band with new drummer Emil Johnson and Chuck Dukowski working his magic, right before My War and the subsequent humorlessness of the Metal Flag era. Geez, whats with all these anonymous threats pouring into my mail scrawled with "Death to My War haters" on it?

The version of "TV Party" on here was at a much slower rhythm and with louder hand clap sounds (maybe to be more catchy?), with the vocals sounding pretty much the same. Ultimately why they put this one out is kind of beyond me, as Black Flag was never going to be more than a niche band - that's who they were, loud and violent and filled with an awesome blistering rage. Even on hearing this version my favorite "TV Party" is Emilio Estevez singing it as he walks in the morning sun in Repo Man - short, sweet, and filled with hungover melancholy.

The other two songs, which featured Bill Stevenson on drums, though are pretty perfect though as great throwaways. Rollins' vocals dancing around the band's loping, deranged riffs on "I Got To Run" were prime Flag, a violent, spiky earworm. "My Rules" was a minute long rant that in Minor Threat's hands would be a single volley with no alterations in sound, but this one shows how Ginn and Dukowski keep "swinging", the rhythms moving and dodging like Ali at his Greatest as Rollins ranted about not needing rules or demands from a significant other.

While the title version is really disposable the other two here were wild, nasty pieces of 1982 Black Flag and who could ask for more? "I Got To Run" and "My Rules" are definitely worth a listen. Stomp around for a bit and remember when Ginn actually wanted to play fast.