Black Flag
In My Head


4.5
superb

Review

by lootbrute1 USER (4 Reviews)
March 19th, 2014 | 13 replies | 703 views


Release Date: 1985 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Though the recording may not do it justice, this record is brilliant.

3 of 4 thought this review was well written

By 1985 Greg Ginn was ready to move on. He had finally used up the last of the backlogged tunes from the "1982 Demo" days on "Loose Nut" and was ready to begin finally working on his debut solo album. But there was a catch. Henry Rollins, immensely inspired by Ginn's musical progression and feeling a bit left out, started writing lyrics to many of Ginn's songs, presenting the guitarist with some of later Black Flag's most legendary cuts (i.e. In My Head, Drinking & Driving). The guitarist gave in to Henry's suggestion that his debut solo LP should be a Black Flag LP and thus, "In My Head" was born. The record that resulted could have and should have been Black Flag's greatest achievement. However, despite the stellar songwriting (complete with heavy metal riffage, free jazz inspired leads, galloping punk tempos and subtly complex yet heavily undermined rhythm parts) the recording lacked the power the songs were revealed to posses live (see the Last Show bootleg demo for proof of the incredible live versions of these songs and half of the "I Can See You" demos). To make matters worse musically, though Ginn's guitar is easily the most audible instrument on the album, many of the solos on the album (i.e. "The Crazy Girl", "White Hot") are oddly inaudible due to the rhythm guitar parts being mixed at the same volume (a complaint that syncs up with many solos off Greg's side project Gone's debut released during the same time). Further adding to the problem was the fact that not only were Henry's vocals mixed to a muddy low volume but many of the takes lacked the ferocity he was known to deliver live (compare "White Hot" off of this release to any live version of the song and you will understand).

Despite this lack of cohesion, however, Black Flag managed to pull off one last work of brilliance. Songs like "Paralyzed", "Black Love", "Retired at 21" and "Society's Tease" showcase Greg Ginn's utter brilliance as both a player and composer, complete with earth shattering heaviness, technical ability and beautiful passages of melody to offset the chaos. Other songs like "The Crazy Girl" and "It's All Up To You" do more than just showcase Ginn's talents, they also showcase how tight the Roessler/Stevenson rhythm section was, with incredible off-time subtlety a staple of their fantastic performances. Henry's lyrics are, as usual, full of poetic bile and cultural disdain, perfect for the musical tone set by the band. All in all four and a half stars may be excessive for the RECORD but not at all for the material. The material here is remarkable and completely different from the legendary punk works of the early days that made Black Flag such an influential and powerful unit. Do not judge this album by heresay. Listen to it, dig it and compare and contrast it with the live versions and over time I'm sure you will understand why many fans consider this the last REAL Black Flag record…and listening to those live versions on acid definitely helps.


user ratings (178)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Arcade
March 18th 2014



437 Comments


The only black flag album (not counting that terrible new one) I don't own. I'll have to buy this soon

Muisc4Life26
March 19th 2014



1946 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good review but make sure to add space though

KriegdemKriege
March 19th 2014



509 Comments


How did this not already have a review? Auto pos for reviewing.

That being said, this album is not that great. Black Flag is not that great.

WhiteNoise
March 19th 2014



2883 Comments


" Black Flag is not that great."

The Nervous Breakdown EP has something to show you...

Digging: Eagulls - Eagulls

KriegdemKriege
March 19th 2014



509 Comments


Wow, you're right! That 5-minute EP sure converted me!

KILL
March 19th 2014



67177 Comments


black flag rule

KriegdemKriege
March 19th 2014



509 Comments


Damaged is pretty good, and I like the spoken word half of Family Man. Everything else is either mediocre or straight up awful.

KILL
March 19th 2014



67177 Comments


my war dude!

nothing left inside crushes

BMDrummer
March 19th 2014



1168 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Album is super underrated. I agree about the production, way too 80s sounding drum sound. My favorite is My War. Also, add paragraphs!

Digging: Blindead - Affliction XXIX II MCMXCVI

BMDrummer
March 19th 2014



1168 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Accidently duplicated, delete this.

NeroCorleone80
March 21st 2014



26909 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

How the fuck did this not have a review until now

Digging: Morbid Angel - Covenant

lootbrute1
March 21st 2014



18 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Added space, hope it reads easier…thanks for the critiques y'all!

Hommecidal
April 14th 2014



44 Comments


I hear voices when no one's around, silent voices that NO ONE CAN SEE



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