Review Summary: New sound, same band. Black Flag changes a lot and adds diversity to their music which is shown throughout Slip It In.
Slip It In followed My War by a few months right after Black Flag’s problem with Unicorn Records. Black Flag was unable to release any records for three years, so they had a lot of time to write new material.
When the first track hits it’s pretty easy to tell that this is not going to be the same music you heard on Damaged. Black Flag really jazzes up their sound on this record. This is not a bad thing, because it’s a great, new sound. Very creative. Songs are definitely longer than most of their others, maybe a little too long at points. Just about all of the tracks feel like they get a bit repetitive, but the guitar work definitely makes up for it. Their new bassist, Kira, does a really good job, and adds some spice to the mix. The title track is amazing. All of the members play well together and make a creative, high energy song. The second track, Black coffee has just as much energy if not more, raw production, and you should like it just as much as the first song. Wound Up is like a longer version of Nervous Breakdown in that the energy builds up as the song progresses. Not to say that Henry doesn’t do a good job projecting vocals, but his lyrics may come off as kind of cheesy at points IMO:
I wear rat's shoes
I pay rat's dues
I make rat's moves
I sing rat's blues
This brings me to the fourth track, “Rat’s Eyes.” These next two songs change the quality of the record a bit, and are the slow, grunge tracks. Rat’s Eyes has some great, interesting guitar work, but the chorus is repeated and revisited a little too much. I’ve listened to this record many times, but I’m still not sure how to take the vocals on this song, or the lyrics. The vocals and lyrics are out there which gives it a unique feel. I can’t tell if it sets or ruins the mood of the song. What immediately follows is a 5:51 long instrumental, Obliteration. Like all the songs on here it has some good guitar work, but it plays the same few riffs countless times and contains three solos. It’s just clearly not worthy of 6 minutes.
The Bars raises the quality of the record again. The drums add a lot to this track with quick snare rolls and drum fills. My Ghetto has the highest energy on Slip It In. Rollin’s does such a good job of projecting his vocals in this song, it’s outstanding. It’s short, but very sweet. The last song, You’re Not Evil, is quite the longest. The vocals on the chorus seem out of place. Then during the verse we witness screeches that aren’t exactly necessary. They’re nothing like the ones on Side B of My War. They’re just screeches in the background, not too cool. The instruments really end Slip It In with a bang. I just don’t know if I can say the same for Henry Rollins