Black Flag
Damaged


4.0
excellent

Review

by Neoteric USER (86 Reviews)
September 23rd, 2006 | 15 replies | 3,109 views


Release Date: 1981 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A furious, angry hardcore record. The first full length from Black Flag and is a treat to the genre. Beware of some mediocre tracks and lame production.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

It's a cold dark night outside the local hardcore club. The year is 1981, rebellion is high and fast music suddenly becomes cool. Hanging outside the back of the club with your drinking buddies, there is a band playing inside, it sounds pleasant so you and your buddies decide to sneak pass security and enter the grimy club (through the backdoor of course, the bouncers at the front aren't people to mess with). Inside the club is the sounds of furious, boisterous hardcore punk exploding into your little ear drums. The front man, dressed in nothing but shorts is one clammy individual. His bulging neck and his scratchy low voice shows he isn't a man to fuck about with. On the side of him, the guitarist is soaring around like a mad man, he sounds like a jazz player but the thick juicy power chords he strums tells you differently. Did you enjoy the show? Hell yeah, you definitely did and the show doesn't stop there. The merchandise stall in the club is filled with the Damaged album and a few EP's. You don't hesitate on buying the full album, in fact, you can't wait to slip out that vinyl and put it on your crackly old record player.

The cover is an exact view of what the album is in the vein of, we have Henry Rollins punching a mirror with blood spewing out his hand. This is what the album is, fast, hard, angry and totally gut-wrenching. Rise Above is obviously a perfect opener, the spot on punk song. With it's shouts of, "Rise above, we're gonna rise above!”, the song is almost an anthem of sorts. It's a bit of a "to hell with authority, we are above you” song. A stamp on your enemy's face, a kick in your enemy's backside, the song that shows this. Following up to Rise Above is one of my beloved songs of the album. Not even reaching half a minute, Spray Paint is over before you know it. It's fast, catchy and it blows your head off as soon as you get into it. Nearly all the songs are worth a mention but that would be too tedious. TV Party is a joke song about a gang of slobs who sit about and watch TV all day. Police Story is an anti-authority song and is again quite short. While most of the songs reach a high standard, some of them fall flat on their faces. There is no bad songs but some mediocre ones, the ones I'm talking about include What I See, Depression, Room 13 and Thirsty and Miserable. Thankfully, the accomplished songs outweigh the typical songs.

Black Flag are a bunch of talented folk for a punk band. Greg Ginn is an extremely unique guitarist, he is a vivid jazz fan and though it doesn't show on this record as much as other records, he does put something in his playing which makes it enjoyable to listen to. His tone is quite fuzzy and adds another layer to the songs. Henry isn't what I'd call an accomplished singer but his voice definitely suits the band, his voice does start to annoy after quite a few listens but none the less, it's all good. Chuck is a damn fine bassist, he writes some of the songs and his bass lines are well thought out. He does follow Greg most of the time but he can play original bass lines greatly. Drummers in hardcore band have a bit of a hard time, for once, you need stamina and you need speed. ROBO (what's up with the name?) has both those skills and while his playing isn't securely difficult, he has the speed going and that's all that matters. When recording he had bracelets on his left wrist which would rattle when he hit the snare drum. This can clearly be heard on the record which makes another part of the band unique. They really are unique for the time, taking the speed of the Ramones and a few lessons of the first few punk bands.

If you are anyway into hardcore and you haven't heard this then you should have went out and bought it before you even read this. A nice, solid album but I do feel it is brought down because of a few mediocre tracks and that really is a shame. The production makes the album feel a bit lacking and the fact none of the tracks really go out of fast hardcore punk is disappointing. Though I didn't notice this until I had listened to the album a few times. Complications aside, I don't really find much wrong with the album as all it is, is a angry punk record. A recommended purchase.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Neoteric
September 23rd 2006



3243 Comments


Not really sure about the intro but oh well, this cured my boredom.

Two-Headed Boy
September 23rd 2006



4527 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review, things were organized and detailed.

I think this album is a tad over-rated, but it's great nevertheless.

Brain Dead
September 23rd 2006



1150 Comments


Hey! I just noticed you're nearing the 100 review mark. Congratulations on that, and good review.

Neoteric
September 23rd 2006



3243 Comments


Thanks for the feedback.

Now I need to decide what to do for my 100th =(This Message Edited On 09.23.06

Pwntendo
September 23rd 2006



70 Comments


[quote=Damaged review]It's a cold dark night outside the local hardcore club. The year is 1981, rebellion is high and fast music suddenly becomes cool. Hanging outside the back of the club with your drinking buddies, there is a band playing inside, it sounds pleasant so you and your buddies decide to sneak pass security and enter the grimy club (through the backdoor of course, the bouncers at the front aren't people to mess with). Inside the club is the sounds of furious, boisterous hardcore punk exploding into your little ear drums. The front man, dressed in nothing but shorts is one clammy individual. His bulging neck and his scratchy low voice shows he isn't a man to fuck about with. On the side of him, the guitarist is soaring around like a mad man, he sounds like a jazz player but the thick juicy power chords he strums tells you differently. Did you enjoy the show? Hell yeah, you definitely did and the show doesn't stop there. The merchandise stall in the club is filled with the Damaged album and a few EP's. You don't hesitate on buying the full album, in fact, you can't wait to slip out that vinyl and put it on your crackly old record player.[/quote]


[quote=Ramones review]It's a rather cold night on the Lower Bowery. There's nothing to do in Queens, he thinks as he passes by the same prostitutes that are on the same corner every day. Eventually, he stumbles to a seedy bar occupied by God-knows-what or better yet, God-knows-who. All of the urban hipsters, the Warhol crowd, the strippers, junkies. Everyone is gathered outside, smoking and talking. Suddenly, there is a huge roar from the inside that startles him, and he thinks.. "well..it sure beats these freaks". A lanky, long hair man in a leather jacket, and possibly the greatest sunglasses you have ever seen stands wrapped around the microphone, blurting out his own odd poetry in a faux British accent. The two guitar players, legs apart, creating the tsunami of sound that once startled you, and the barely noticable drummer, pounding away on his small Ludwig drum set. The man suddenly realises.. that this could be big. Not just big... revolutionary.[/quote]


CanonInD
September 23rd 2006



359 Comments


omg plagiarising

tom79
September 23rd 2006



3365 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hey, I suggested some Black Flag and here it is.

Essential album within the genre and Rollins' best with the band. Rise Above, Six Pack and Police Story are some highlights here.This Message Edited On 09.23.06

Digging: Rainer Maria - Look Now Look Again

The Jungler
September 23rd 2006



4827 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Not bad, the intro was a little shifty, but the bulk of the review was good. I really like these guys.

stinkypoptart
September 23rd 2006



1169 Comments


i love rise above. whjen i get some balck flag this will be what i get.

Zmev
September 24th 2006



983 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good post by pwntendo

tv party is an awesome song

Neoteric
September 24th 2006



3243 Comments


Ohh, I'm so sorry E-lim, those intros are really similar

World Burns To Death
September 24th 2006



14 Comments


alright review, horrid album. this ruined black flag

Bron-Yr-Aur
September 24th 2006



4405 Comments


Wow. That's quite the accident.

Oddsen
September 24th 2006



1127 Comments


I need this.

MrKite
March 5th 2008



5020 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm, surprised the first time I ever heard them (TV Party) was on muchmusic. It pays to stay up till three and watch the punk show sometimes, I guess.



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