Review Revue: Black Flag – My War


Hey, happy new year! What better time than the transition to a new year — indeed, a new decade — to bust out some really dark, pissed-off punk rock? Black Flag’s second LP — released in 1984 on SST — was a bit of a departure for the notoriously fast and loud band, as you’ll glean from the comments below. The first side featured six shorter songs, but the second side had only three songs, taking about the same amount of time. The band was celebrating its release from Unicorn Records — with which it had been embroiled in some ugly legal battles — by exercising its more progressive, dirgey tendencies, and not everyone was happy about it.

“It’s Black Flag, alright, but really progressive and slower in parts. Nice & noisy, but not always hardcore.”

“Yuck! One or two tracks are OK, but I got a headache after I reviewed this LP.”

“Face it, folks. Hardcore’s had it.” [This comment was made over 25 years ago. There are, I’m quite sure, people having this same discussion today.]

“Ick, yuck, blech.”

“Hardcore ain’t just BF, pal, and good thing too. This record is lame, but we’ve still got Bad Brains, Minutemen, DOA, Big Boys, MDC, etc.”

“I still think HC is getting old. Let’s not start another sticker battle, OK?” [No, let’s!]

“Come on folks. Can’t anyone grow – change – progress without getting cut to pieces by their own kind? So they’re not the same, true, but they are good without the stereotype of H.C.”

“But that’s just it. They aren’t good like this. Try Lydia Lunch 13.13 for good stuff.”

“Side 2 is great! It had just as much of an influence on the ‘Seattle Sound’ as Sabbath. This even predates anything released by the Melvins, + it’s just as good. And slow.” [And you know, now that you mention it, if you told me that was a Melvins album cover I would totally believe it.]

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