Monday, October 25, 2010

Review #170: White Flag - Third Strike (1984)


Year: 1984
Hardcore Punk
Gasatanka Records
36 Minutes
My Rating:

Third Strike is the second album (despite what you'd assume from the title) by White Flag, after their first record called "S is for Space". This album is almost twice as long as the first White Flag album, and a lot of the songs veer more into the hard rock realm instead of nothing but hardcore. Well, even though I'm pretty tired today (as I was yesterday), I am going to attempt to review this album 'cuz I only gave you a couple reviews last week. So, pop on your record/CD/tape player or whatever you listen to music with and enjoy hearing me state the obvious about your favorite and least favorite hits by White Flag!

1. Cross Dogs
Very similar riff to their song "Shattered Badge", but this song is about a rock star taking drugs and drinking alcohol to ease the stress and confusion of the life. Guitar solo mid-way through the song.

2. Psycho Cop
This song paints a policeman as a "black knight", who goes out, using his weapon and his sense of pride to instill fear and respect into his victims. There's a neat vocal harmony in one part of the song.

3. Shadow Zone
This song's a tad slower than the first two tracks. Cool bass riff. At some parts the singer's voice kind of reminds me of Darby Crash's growl.

4. Celebate
This is a much faster song about a person who "tries his hand at love", gets rejected, and decides to become a priest and ends up molesting little boys because "love's a jinx". The shouted chorus just goes "CELIBATE! CELIBATE!", though the title of the song is mis-spelled.

5. You've Got a Problem
This song's about a relationship gone wrong (I think) and it's got an awesome chorus melody.

6. At the Mountains of Madness
This song's kinda slow. The vocals are in harmony and it's more relaxed-feeling than some of the other songs on the album. Then there's a guitar solo after the second chorus. The lyrics are kind of sad. Pat Fear sings on this song.

7. Victors of the Universe
This song's really fast. It's about drug addiction (heroin, probably) and names a man named "Todd", as the one who will save his addicted slaves. 'nother kool gee-tarr solo.

8. Ticket to Moscow
Very fiery feel to this song. Sounds like they're playing more than one rhythm guitar on this song. This song is an anti-communist anthem, criticizing people who believe that communism will save us from the problems of the economy and the current government, and how it would make us "equally poor and equally sad". It's not that often that you hear a hardcore punk song that kinda defends the U.S. government. And it isn't perfect, but they make some good points, here.

9. Flaming Halos
Cool psychedelic-sounding intro... this song goes on even further to question the norms of the punk scene, asking them why they claim to be so anti-establishment and revolutionary when they hide in the shadows and seem to want to BE the establishment. The song compares these types to "soliders waging wars with leather souls and six-string guns". Also, the song asks that even if the government was overthrown, then who would take its place and how would we improve it? Al Bum (the singer) finishes off by saying that he's "tired of all your anti-answers". End of Side A.

10. Flipside
This song pokes fun at the Flipside video-zine and compares it to a punk version of MTV, for the punk rocker who wants to sit on the couch and watch bands play in the comfort of his own home... which is pretty much what I've been doing for years, as a matter of fact. Hmm... well, the song has a pretty damn poppy-sounding chorus. And that guitar solo is totally fucking awesome! Guitar solos rule. Awesome song, even if it's pretty much making fun of me! Hah hah hah. Someday soon I'll be in the house a lot less.

11. Wake Up Screaming
The lyrics here are pretty dark. In the chorus, the band says "Just like ______ said to me, what irons will enshackle, White Flag will set free". There's one part where there's a really weird-sounding vocal harmony involving a regular voice and a sped-up sounding voice. It's pretty fast also. Cool verse riff. "These four walls are my only friends, they'll always be around".

12. Festive Shapes
Awesome melody here, and a fuckin' hot beat as well. This song's about an outlaw horse-rider out west going through towns and robbing them before riding off into the sun.

13. Over My Head
This song makes fun of '80s glam metal. And the beat is cool.

14. Overlords of the Underworld
Really fast and it sounds a lot like the Germs (in a good way). Yet another fuck-off to communist punks ("Communist Punks Fuck Off!"), or as they put it, "leaders preaching leaderlessness", creating a set of rules in a supposedly free-thinking faction of society, "intimidating the kids that don't understand".

15. Middle-Class Hell
Awesome guitar riff and there's some cool lead-guitar also. This song's a satire on a middle class kid who lives a comfortable life and gets the things he wants from his parents, but only wants more and wishes he could "be like Ace Frehley, smash my Delorean into cars" and wear more expensive clothes and hang out with rich people and all that crap, instead of just being happy with what he does have. Real cool-sounding song!

16. There's a Place
This is a cover of the Beatles. I actually never heard the Beatles version before (haven't listened to very much Beatles stuff), but this is done in a hard punk rock style. It's a love song, talking about a person who can feel better by spending time with his/her lover.

17. Pieces of Chris Trent
This song has a real funky-sounding bass melody. Slower verse and fast chorus. You know... how that... And there's a guitar solo also. This solo actually has two different lead guitars, which makes it slightly different. You hear a slight clippet of a television show before the song ends. s. s. s. s. s. s. s. s. s. s. s. s. s. s. s. s. (that's the record skipping... means you need to press "stop", now)

Well, that is "Third Strike", the second album by White Flag (not to be confused with the Black kind), and one thing I have noticed is that the album cover art resembles an American flag, with the White Flag logo instead of the stars over a blue square and red and blue stripes, with White Flag playing and the U.S. army overlapping this, obviously. Pat Fear gets to sing more on this album also, which I like. The album, similar to the Dead Kennedys, also does a lot of criticism of the conventions of the punk scene which had accumulated by this time. Some conventions can be cool, but I'm glad someone actually had the guts to question communism... there aren't many punks in communist countries! Anyways, that's my review, and it wasn't great, but that's as great as I'm feelin' today, so deal with it. Adios, amigos!

Top 3 Favorites:
Flaming Halos
2. Flipside
3. Overlords of the Underworld

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