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The line up. The material. Simply astonishing.
if you're a 15 year old white boy with a skateboard
just good punk, hardly mindblowing
Ok, the kid is being a cocky little shit but still....it doesn't make you a hard man, Henry.
Gregg Ginn's guitar playing makes them waaaaay more than 'just good punk'
will never have album covers as good
better than My Wart
interesting characters, artwork & imagery, DIY ethos etc. but the records sound terrible, which is excusable for the first couple but they just go down hill. Their lyrics are cringe worthy and attempts at humour even worse. Great when your about 14 tho!
for trying something different. Early Black Flag was decent first wave hardcore but as he became braver his style became more excruciating culminating in his god awful Gone side project. I can't think of a single artist that would sight Ginn as a direct influence.
not replying to this thread due to negative comments. I am enthusiastic about real music as most are on DIS. I general it's a great form. My posts and comments seldom link to my blog. I do so when I feel others would enjoy and a small attempt to spread the word about music that means something to me. the Black Flag gig in the post is an astonishing show, no matter what ones taste in music is. That gig could have been at a stadium or in a barn it would have been the same. Art and music are important. Negative comments less so.
considering how great they were
but the actual book has about 100 photos of former ice-cream vendor and tortured soul Henry Rollins pulling faces like he's taking a shit. Alot of his exaggerations about shed dwelling and fighting all the time have since been debunked by the rest of the band.
he's a massive influence on my playing, and i'm a global megastar.
love it. as well as the chapter in our band could be your life... but then i listen to the music and it strikes me as fairly average punk rock. if i was around at the time, in the context, and saw them live, i would probably be into it
I think it's strange that Black Flag always get a mention from this scene when better bands like Suicidal Tendencies are accepted as second rate but fun music. That first song you linked is ok but to get to it you have to listen past 'salt on a slug' on the Family Man LP and some other truly criminal lyrics/writing. It is not the first time marketing and self-mythologising have trumped talent.
whether it's good or not is another matter (it's GREAT)
also: you're insane if you think its just SELF-mythologising that has made them well known, and (that as you said above) Greg Ginn didn't influence anyone because that's
just objectively wrong
yeah it fed into it, but you seriously cannot underestimate the impact Black Flag had on punk, hardcore, indie, alt., stoner, doom, etc etc
there are other bands of the era that I prefer - Minutemen for example (who are easily one of the greatest bands of ALL TIME). anyway loads of people like Suicidal Tendencies don't they? I know I do
i said i listen to them now and it seems average. i also said it's probably because i wasn't around in the context of the time to appreciate it. they were seminal but in 2010/11/12/13 I don't listen to them and necessarily think musically it's (to me) that brilliant or on a level that they are revered.
overpower the obvious intensity and importance of the instruments
Black Flag are one of the best bands ever
and fuck you if you think any different
and minimal discussion
they tried something different and in my opinion it didn't work. They started of on the back of those first L.A. punk bands(who had a massive influence)then alienated a lot of those people because of their unoriginality and the percieved or real thuggery of their fans. Ginn did have his own style but I would debate how influential his actual playing was. Hundreds of bands quote Black Flag as an influence but I would suggest they are more influenced by the branding, artwork, merchandise & loyal teenage fanbase- that was the real success of Black Flag.
That point in the mid-eighties was a time of massive cross-over between metal and punk with lots of new exciting variations and sub-genres springing up, Black Flag are more responsible for influencing 1000's of terrible hardcore bands.
My point about a band like Suicidal Tendencies was they came from the same scene and looking back the records they made sound far better than Black Flag ones, they were amazing live - really a great band to be into as a teenager. But Black Flag(fans) could never accept a similar description even tho I think they are inferior - maybe because they have the bars tattooed on their arms!
which LA punk bands did Black Flag did they 'start of on the back of'? Think there was only one band - The Middle Class - who had a record out before the Nervous Breakdown EP that could even vaguely be described as 'hardcore' (and that is debatable in itself) so not entirely sure who they were supposed to have ripped off. It's also difficult to be 'unoriginal' when your band are basically responsible for an entire sound/genre.
The fact that they got bored of the sound they created and the 'louder harder faster' rules (and violence) that dominated hardcore by the early '80s and moved to a different sound points to a band being more original than less to me. Also agree with the OP by '84 they were doing stuff totally removed from original hardcore and this period is just as influential as their early days.
As for Greg Ginn not being influential, I think you need to go back and re-check that. Also, blaming them for '1000's of terrible hardcore bands' is like blaming Husker Du for emo. It's not empirically wrong, but it entirely misses the point.
musically, it really is just punk isn't it? it's all the stuff outside of the music that made them a "hardcore band" isnt it?
but Forming came out in ’77 so you could count Germs as the first hardcore band.... I would personally go with Sound Of Imker’s “Train Of Doomsday” 7" from 1969. According to Wikipedia(damn!) Black Flag played their first show in 1979 so they pretty much came off the back of all those great first wave L.A. punk bands. They didn't get 'bored of the sound they created'-because they didn't create it!
You are a fan of their sound circa'84(this is where the band has carved out a more original sound for themselves!) where as I think looking back on it that is the worst bit of their output, the lyrics on those records are plain embarrassing!
As for Ginn, I think he is overrated. Please can somebody tell me a few bands/ guitarists he's influenced??
but like every third new HC band I hear these days has a guitarist who's really clearly trying to bite his style
think it's reasonable to say that once they got going as BF they gathered up a tribe of people that were pretty distinct from the Weirdos/Alleycats kind of LA bands. whether you consider that a good development is up to you I suppose
the ones that spring to mind are the metal ones like melvins, eyehategod, slayer, that sort of thing
also the first hardcore record thing is obvs willy waving but this is almost hardcore isn't it? Even down to the lyrics. It's ace anyway
I could almost understand it if we were talking about minor threat, but there is some pure OBJECTIVELY WRONG conjecture being thrown around in here like poop in a monkey enclosure.
and ideas in that early scene ...all those Dangerhouse bands, the Residents, x, Germs, Flipper etc... all very distinct from each other. The rise of Black Flag lead to a homogeneous scene; bands started to sound more and more similar, fans dressing in a uniform manner, macho behaviour and pretty much exclusive white male audience. I have a ton of time for underground punk but hardcore... and especially modern U.S. hardcore I find to be about as engaging as the Spice Girls.
but yeah aside from issues of personal taste I don't disagree with you really
there was an article a few years back in noted grindcore journal The Guardian which I believe posited that Billy Joel's band before he was famous played the first ever on-record blastbeat. never got round to checking it out tbh but stuff like that makes me :D
the fact that you don't like US hardcore doesn't make Black Flag the generic all brand over substance band you make out upthread though
as an example. Pretty sure Suicidal will never get a revered write up in MOJO but their records are recorded better than the Flag ones and they have some fun songs.
some weak as fuck lyrics, terrible sounding records and tough guy postures that we will never hear the end of.
weren't from that early scene. - i.e. stuff by minutemen, saccharine trust, gun club, flipper, flesh eaters, (black flag), and so on, who were all very diverse and didn't fit in with meathead hardcore
obvs that isn't to say the early stuff is bad, (love Germs, X aren't bad, Screamers would have had an all time classic if they released an album, etc)
you rate. I do like some US hardcore type stuff ..Poison Idea, The Wipers ...a few others.
Heavy metal drums and organ duo!
They have a good sort of bonehead metal song
I haven't heard anything else but that's mint about the blastbeat!
"Attila undoubtedly is the worst album released in the history of rock & roll - hell, the history of recorded music itself. There have been many bad ideas in rock, but none match the colossal stupidity of Attila."