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Blow'n Chunks

Flipper

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Album Review

If not quite as rarity-collecting as the brilliant Sex Bomb Baby overview, Blow'n Chunks is still actually a great place for a Flipper newcomer to begin. Taking from a show at CBGB's in late 1983, Blow'n finds the band smashing and crashing through a combination of older and newer numbers both, including some that had yet to be officially recorded. The sound quality is good without being too pristine — something about Flipper, at least back then, seems to resist a clean recording as being disruptive of the thick flow of sludge created. What's especially interesting in the light of history is that no matter how many bands from Seattle in particular claim Flipper as an influence, the quartet themselves never sounds like slow, dire grunge. Tracks like "Way of the World," "In Life My Friend," and "Shed No Tears" keep all the strong, lumbering energy familiar from the studio versions, sounding practically quick and speedy, even while the feedback walls and bass trudges set the way. Those numbers that are actually slow, like "The Lights, the Sound, the Rhythm, the Noise" and "Life Is Cheap" definitely betray the Black Sabbath influence long credited to the band, but with an economy that group seemed to lose somewhere along the way (if it ever had it). Both Lose and Shatter bark and scream out their vocals, and for all the implicit drama they never sound like they're putting on an act — it's all natural, fitting right in with the powerful music. Fun examples of humor: quick snippets that appeared at the ends of the separate sides on the original tape release, with dogs barking and the band urging the listener to either "turn the tape over!" or to realize "it's finished!" Bio notes from the band and critic Michael Goldberg make for good liner info as well.

Biography

Formed: 1978 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

They came, they saw, and they conquered — sort of. Never topping the charts, nor possessing a huge following, San Francisco's Flipper, even in the '90s alt-rock sweepstakes, would still be considered a fringe act. But, in 1982, they were the toast of rock critics across the country with their post-hardcore punk masterpiece "Sex Bomb." Clocking in at over seven minutes, possessing one riff played over and over (and sloppier and sloppier), with vocalist Will Shatter screaming rather than singing...
Full bio
Blow'n Chunks, Flipper
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