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iTunes Review

Black Flag’s debut album remains the definitive album of ‘80s California hardcore punk: angry and uncomfortable with suburbia and its relentless sunshine. Settling in with lead singer Henry Rollins after several other yowlers took their shot (as best sampled on Everything Went Black), Black Flag attacked the status quo with a supercharged rhythm section that ignored the speed limit and a guitarist in Greg Ginn who heard Chuck Berry as an instrument of free jazz. “Rise Above” opens things with the standard call to action (“We are tired of your abuse/ Try to stop us, it’s no use”) but with an added ferocity, while the 33 seconds of “Spray Paint the Walls” portends the hardcore onslaught of extremely short songs. But it’s the comedic goof on the boob-tube slackerdom of “T.V. Party” (with its perfectly dated references to “Hill Street Blues” and “The Jeffersons” and ridiculous group sing-along) and the existential breakdown of the album’s second side (“Depression,” “Padded Cell,” “Life of Pain”) that illuminate the growing ennui of the ‘80s punk era.

Customer Reviews

see? THIS is punk.

BLACK FLAG IS PUNK. plain and simple. BLINK 182 GOOD CHARLOTTE GREEN DAY AVRIL LAVINE MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE THE USED SOCIAL DISTORTION and FALL OUT BOY ARE NOT PUNK. with that out of the way, BLACK FLAG is an excellent band that has some hardcore stuff out there. id reccomend this album ROCK ON \m/

Like Blink and Green Day Too.

I like Blink 182, Green Day, The Offspring and other bands like them. I also like bands like Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Dead Kennedys, Ramones, Sex Pistols, etc. If you listen to Blink 182 first few albums before they had Travis Barker they were more punk. Listen to albums like Chesire Cat and Dude Ranch. They're much better than they're mainstream stuff like All The Small Things and What's My Age Again? Listen to Green Day from 1995 all the way back to 1990. Listen to the Offspring's self titled album in 1989 and it actually sounded pretty punk. Blink and Green were more punk back in the early 90s and sounded better than they did recently, but they're still punk none the less. It may not sound the same as the Dead Kennedys or Circle Jerks, but still has a punk feeling back when Scott Raynor and Tre Cool used to drum a lot faster. Social D and Bad Religon may sound different now and have for the last 10 or 15 years, but back in the 80s they sounded pretty hardcore punk. Just listen to songs from Social D liked Mommy's Little Monster, The Creeps and Another State of mind. Or songs from Bad Religon like We're Only Gonna Die From Our Own Arrogance, F Armageddon, This is Hell, or Along The Way. I like Blink and Green Day a lot, but still like the old school bands that started it all. I like Blink 182 and Green Day, but hate Fall Out Boy, MCR, Good Charlotte, Plain White T's, and Panic at the Disco. So I just wanted to say that I like the new school punks bands, but also like their elders.

Absolutely amazing

I've listened to many hardcore punk bands but Black Flag remains my favourite. This album was once described as "ferocious" and "anit-parent", which is absolutely true. That may be the reason I love it so much. In 15 tracks it showed me that I'm not alone in this world. TV Party and Police Story are I think the best songs on this album. Black Flag put punk rock in a whole new place with Damaged, and that's why they deserve to be king. Punks will still be listening to this album for decades, and kids, The Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums ever was right, your parents will always hate it.


Formed: 1977 in Hermosa Beach, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '10s

In many ways, Black Flag was the definitive Los Angeles hardcore punk band. Although their music flirted with heavy metal and experimental noise and jazz more than that of most hardcore bands, they defined the image and the aesthetic. Through their ceaseless touring, the band cultivated the American underground punk scene; every year, Black Flag played in every area of the U.S., influencing countless numbers of bands. Although their recording career was hampered by a draining lawsuit, which was followed...
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