Black Flag - In My Head (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Black Flag

In My Head (1986)


Black Flag's 5th and final full length is arguably their finest and definitely their most inovative, the current lineup being Greg Ginn, Henry Rollins, Anthony Martinez, and Kira.

To start, this album is recognizeably different than the rest of Black Flag's material, but that doesn't mean this is a bad thing, it just means they have taken a different direction and kept only their main core elements- darkness and intensity- intact. This album is basically part experimental, part metal, part hardcore, and part punk- but it all comes off brutally beautiful.

Songs like "Out Of This World" and "Society's Tease" demonstrate Greg Ginns masterful guitar work and Henry's ferious vocal management, these are heavy tunes with all the trademark Black Flag intensity. Then we have songs like "Black Love", "I Can See You", and "Crazy Girl". These tunes being very experimental "Black Love" is a dark, slow burner with an ultimately creepy Rollins speaking in a low toned voice. "I Can See You", although very repetitive, also can be a guilty pleasure at times with the chorus "I can see you, you can see me, I can hear you, you can hear me, I can kill you, you can kill me, etc. etc.". "Crazy Girl" Is very inovative it starts with similaritys to "Black Love" but then burst into hardcore....and then slows down again- a repeated process that works to full effect. Other very notable songs include "Paralyzed", "Retired At 21", and the title track "In My Head". This album demonstrates the true musical master talent of this band and doesn't sacrafice any of the intensity and aggression from their previous releases. You can label this as hardcore jazz experimental metal punk, but I'd just rather call it excellent music.

Another noticeable trademark on this album and their previous one, "Loose Nut", is the crystal clean production. The band had finally broken away from their original producer Spot, whom I think is a terrible producer and ruined the sound quality on "My War", and they have finally got a clean, clear quality so that we can hear every bit of brutality and still scare the neighboors 17 years later. This was the end, but they went out with a bang.