Various - Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie: Reinterpreting Black Flag [12-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie: Reinterpreting Black Flag [12-inch] (2010)

The Secret Life of Records

It's practically impossible to label Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie: Reintepreting Black Flag as anything but a novelty release. While punk supergroup Me First and the Gimme Gimmes take classic songs from antique genres and freshen them up with a melodic punk rock spirit, the collaborators on Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie have chosen the opposite route: They've taken a "six-pack" of classic Black Flag songs and reinterpreted them in styles ranging from lightly twangy country balladry ("Nervous Breakdown") to something like a sitcom musical theme from the Leave It to Beaver era ("Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie"), trying to imagine the band in a time before punk even really existed. What's weirder is that some of these collaborators were actually in Black Flag: Keith Morris, Dez Cadena and Kira Roessler all appear on various tracks--not to mention Mike Watt and Blondie's Jimmy Destri.

Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie tries to settle with the Black Flag aesthetic by being sold as a 12" EP, but that's about the only bit of lineage you'll be able to establish. This shit is just weird. There's sort of a surf rock rendition for "Rise Above," taking the band's anthem of uprising and defanging it of its scrappy rebellious nature, rendering it just a weirdly relaxed lounge toss-off that happens to have some subvertist lyrics. "Nervous Breakdown" is like a bad art thesis, with Morris' demented vocal theatrics transformed into a mental patient's oddly calm and articulated self-analysis.

It's all really hard to take in or actually forcibly enjoy. And what's worse is that there's a cover of Johnny Cash's "In the Jailhouse Now" randomly placed in the middle of the track listing. It's hard to make sense of the connection, if there is any, and if there were at least any sense of thematic cohesion to this project, this song sort of snuffs it.

This is definitely an experiment gone confusingly awry. Black Flag was never broken despite Morris's cries to "fix me" in a certain song of the same name; it's advice that perhaps should not have been taken.

Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie
Thirsty and Miserable