Flipper - Generic (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Generic (1982)


Flipper is one of the most unique and underappreciated punk rock bands of the early 80's. The band played a mid to slow tempo brand of hardcore punk rock, with menacing vocals thanks to Will Shatter. The lyrics range from depressing to deliciously obnoxious to random as hell. Most dealing with disillusionment with life and conditions of anomie. But some songs, like "Sex Bomb", which only features a few priceless vocals and screams (She's a Sex Bomb Baby, YEAAAAHHH!!!) and a mixture of horns and heavy bass, are just intentionally hilarious in a "Ramones" sort of way.....only clocking in at 7 minutes and chugging along at a slow pace. This is obviously an album that influenced Black Flag's heavy bass sound used in "My War".

My favorite way to describe Flipper's sound is "Grungy Post-Hardcore". The first song, "Ever", sets the down beat tone of the album. With lyrics like "ever feel stupid and know you really are" "Ever wish the human race didn't exist, and realize you're one too" and a clap beat in the background the song is mesmerizing. The second song, "Life Is Cheap", begins with a rather haunting intro and leads into chants from Will and a screechy, feindish voice in perfect sync with him. Pretty crazy stuff, but undeniably genius as well. The song, "Way Of The World" is the first really catchy song off the album, with lyrics like "There are hearts no longer beating, and entrails spilled on the floor, that's the way of the world." The song, "Nothing", is another gem. With more rather simple yet excellent lyrics "Nothing nothing nothing, sitting around and you're wasting my time.". My favorite song on the album is the second to last track, "Living For Depression", which is almost.....positive? Well, not really, but encouraging. With a catchy chorus and a great ending with the shouted vocals "I'm not living life to be a real cheap fucker like you cop out!".

Musically Flipper may seem rather chuggy, but it is also extrememly powerful and effective....and very creative. The album sounds like it was recorded in one take and it's great, you get a real feeling that this band can play great live. Which is later cemented in their magnificant live album "Blown' Chunks". Flipper obviously heavily influenced grunge bands like Nirvana and the sound of some latter day Black Flag songs. Check it out, you'll find it catchy and strangely pleasureful.