on 2 August 2012
I have just listened to this album again after many years. Upfront full disclosure, I still hate it.
Half of the album is Henry Rollins doing 'edgy' beatnik spoken word, which is toe curling, the other is a bunch of noodling, self indulgent jazz workouts.
I like other Black Flag material, and I'm trying to find some constructive points, but this album has no redeeming features for me.
We could debate, at length, what is and isn't punk or hardcore. However, I think it is a reasonable position to take to suggest that the vast majority of people that would define their musical tastes within the 'punk' and 'hardcore' genres will probably be disappointed with this record.
The above is probably a sweeping statement and may cause offence (that wasn't my intention), and it's only my opinion. But, I guess I'm trying to warn others about what they are buying before they part with their cash.
Have a listen to the download snippets before you invest. Hell, what do I know? You might love it!
on 1 November 2007
This has to be the oddest record of Black Flag's career. The first half is solo Henry Rollins spoken word material. The second half is instrumentals in the vein of 'The Process Of Weeding Out' EP.
Some of the spoken word material is very good (the title track and 'Let Your Fingers Do The Walking' in particular) but some of it is real filler.
The instrumental side is very much the same deal. 'I Won't Stick Any Of You...' is Black Flag at their dynamic, adrenalin fuelled best but some of the cuts are too short and too bland to make any real impact.
The only full band track 'Armageddon Man' isn't bad but is barely essential. In fact it sounds not unlike randomly playing one of the spoken word tracks over one of the instrumentals!
This is one of Black Flag's four album releases from 1984 (the others being My War, Slip It In and Live 84) and to be honest it does sound like the leftovers from those other records.
If you're a fan of Black Flag's other albums there's plenty here that you will enjoy but this certainly wouldn't interest a casual fan.
on 2 February 2000
Unlike their contemporaries, Black Flag never felt the need to dilute their hardcore: the Minutemen (with jazz) Meat Puppets (country)or Husker Du (folk) preferring to keep it brutal and bludgeoning to both ear and mind; this album is an effective showcases . Although few would argue that this is Black Flag's finest hour it is, perhaps, the finest example of what the band was about. Bizzare trade mark spoken word from Henry Rollinson which you can never quite tell if he's serious (Salt On a Slug), and some crunching hardcore sounds from SST boss Greg Ginn and the rest of the band. The finest moment on the record is when the two forces combine on the 7 minute Armageddon Man. A good starting point for a would-be fan.