Thursday, September 2, 2010

Review #150: Black Flag - Slip It In (1984)


Year: 1984
Genre: Punk Rock
Sub-Genres: Hardcore
Label: SST Records
Tracks: 8
Length: 38 Minutes
Style: Angry
My Rating: 6/8

After being prevented from releasing any new albums for about a year and a half by law, the band began releasing new albums like crazy several times in one year to compensate. 1984 started off with the infamous album My War, then in September, the band released a spoken-word/instrumental album that was musically weirder than anything else they had released at the time, "Family Man". Now, only three months later in December, the band released another new album called "Slip It In", which returns more to the style of music that can be found on the first half of My War, and it's got a lovely lil' cover of a nun holding some dude's leg (probably Greg Ginn's). But yeah, it's the fourth Black Flag album. It's pretty good.

1. Slip It In
Yes, it is the song that the album iz named after. Surprised? Well, yeah, there's this really cool bass riff being played by Kira, and then soon enough, the guitar and drums are brought into the mix, with the signature musical pause in the song done once, before Henry starts singing. There's a lot of guitar leads which add to a more intense feel for the song. I love the rhythm guitar riff that Greg plays right before the first verse begins. Oh, and Suzi Gardner from L7 does the backing vocals on this song... that's right, the girl who's moaning "slip it in!" throughout the song. Yeah, this song's about a typical slut who tries to pretend that she's innocent but usually ends up fucking everyone in the end. "You're not loose, you're wide open!". Yeah, and don't forget to watch the truly awesome music video for this song either.

2. Black Coffee
One of the first Black Flag songs I can remember listening to. And it's pretty good. The riff is legit, the song wouldn't be complete with the descending lead notes that play during the verse, and the beat is fast enough to give it that punch it needs. There's a nice solo about mid-way through the song.

3. Wound Up
This song has the feel of an earlier Black Flag song... it's mainly in the guitar riffs. The things that set it apart from early 'Flag is the noise-feedback cracks in the first riff, and the breaks/pauses in the chorus section. But I could totally see Keith Morris singing this. Another guitar solo in the middle.

4. Rat's Eyes
This is a slower song, tempo-wise, but there's more to it, usually extra beats and chords added on succeeding a section of the song where the verse or chorus "should have" actually ended. I think the point of this song is to describe feeling like being in the lowest of lows in society, being regarded as "filth" and "shit" because of a lack of money. This was definitely the situation of the band at the time that this song was written, and continued to be until after the band broke up. End of Side 1.

5. Obliteration
Am I hearing gongs here? Maybe they're just cymbals or something. This is an instrumental piece, riddled with confusing tempo-shifts and note progressions. Very unpredictable. Either that or I'm just stupid. At the end of the song, the tempo begins to progressively slow down to a trudging slowness as it is suffocated by an endless array of lead guitar melody.

6. The Bars
The song starts out sounding a ton like "Slip It In", until the riff is revealed to be much different. I mean, the bass riff is different also, but not that different, and I swear you could probably at least have the first minute of these songs playing together in perfect sync. The song's lyrics describe the feeling of living life itself as being trapped inside a prison cell, as Henry sings "every time I see, I've got my hands wrapped around the bars". The first verse of the song sings about a girl who "saw the prison inside", and "on angel's wings jumped out of her apartment window", alluding to suicide.

7. My Ghetto
The song ominously begins with a long hum of feedback, before the first verse abuptly begins, with extreme full force and intensity. Henry rants of the monster known as his ghetto, which sucks in victims and devours, so eager to give nothing to its victims. The beat gets progressively faster and faster until it collapses upon itself into pure noise, which dissipates into nothing but more feedback. Shortest song on the album.

8. You're Not Evil
The longest song on the album. There are slow parts, fast parts, calm parts, angry parts, scary parts, it has a lot of variety in it. The song describes somebody who feels guilty about being themselves and that "they're evil" because society pressures them into feeling that way. If that's what the song's about, then I can say I can relate to this one. "YOU'RE NOT EVIL..."

It's not quite as good as some of the other albums like "In My Head" or "My War" or "Damaged", but still a good album for sure. There's a lot more heavy metal in this album than the ones before it, so metalheads could probably appreciate this one too. I'd even go as far to say that there's a jazz influences as well... not as much as on "Family Man", but it's definitely there. And I'm just spewing crap, 'cause I don't even listen to jazz, but I've heard enough to know that this album is influenced by it. So, yes, Slip It In. Slip It In-to your CD player. Slip It In back into its protective cover (tehe) when you're done listening to it on your turntable. Slip It In-to your cassette tape player. Slip It In to some girl's pussy. Or a dude, if you swing that way. Or not. But yeah, that's all I can think of to say for this review. Now enjoy this music video.

Top 3 Favorites:
1. Slip It In
2. My Ghetto
3. Wound Up


No comments:

Post a Comment