Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Review #171: Black Flag - Loose Nut (1985)


Year: 1985
Hardcore Punk/Heavy Metal
SST Records
34 Minutes
My Rating:

By 1985, a lot of Black Flag's fanbase began to dwindle 'cuz they were becoming so damn different from all of the other bands that they had influenced. Integrating heavy metal into their music, playing slower, elements of free-jazz, a spoken word album, and all other sorts of things that were seen as "un-punk" (how ironic!), Black Flag returned once again just a few months after "Slip It In" came out to bring us this album, called "Loose Nut". Looks like that guy in the cover of the album may be having a "loose nut" himself, dontcha think? Anyways, this album is very similar musically to "Slip It In", maybe a tad bit poppier, and it includes an older song also called "Modern Man" which was written back in the early '80s.

1. Loose Nut
Wow, the production is pretty far above what I'm used to hearing from this band! A lot more reverb here. Which isn't so bad. The riff is real heavy-metal sounding. Kool feed-back on this, as well. The lead guitar on the third verse sounds pretty damn awesome. A lot of layered vocals, the whole song feels like a huge wall of melodic chaos bouncing off the sides of your eardrums! And then, you've gotta love the expectable schizophrenic guitar solo from Greggy Ginny! The song speeds up and collapses into a moment of chaos at the end.

2. Bastard in Love
The first song I heard from this album (in this digital age it is likely you will not hear the first song on an album first). It's pretty catchy and surprisingly poppy for a Black Flag song, but of course with that edge you'd still expect from a Black Flag. Just a lot more up-beat. Gotta love that guitar solo as well. And there's even vocal harmony in the background with either Greg Ginn or Kira Roessler (probably Greg). It's a good-feelin' song.

3. Annihilate This Week
Another catchy as fuck (in a darker way) song! It's a satire on a person who goes out and gets fucked up and does drugs every week to pass time by and always parties. I love it... there's something really dark yet up-beat about it. You can hear Kira and Greg in the background yelling the names of the days of the week inbetween Henry's lines in the chorus section. Kira's voice sounds AWESOME. "But you're a regular party MACHIIIINE...". FUCK YEAH! And to make things better, there's a fucking kick-ass guitar solo that's REALLY AWESOME AND FUCK YES, THIS SONG FUCKIN' RULES YOU FUCKIN' FUCKERS SO FUCKIN' FUCK OFF YOU FUCKIN' PIECE OF FUCK! Which would be a compliment. Damn, I'm really feeling the energy from this one. Must mean it's an awesome song, man! YES!!

4. Best One Yet
The intro vaguely reminds me of "Slip It In". This one's once again a little more positive-sounding than that song. TAKEALOOKAROUNDTAKEALOOKAROUNDTAKEALOOKAROUND! THIS WILL BE THE BEST ONE YET! The bass riff is real cool too, so listen to it, man/woman!

5. Modern Man
This song's older than the other songs on this album, and an earlier version of it can be found on the "1982 Demos" album. The intro is slow and similar to Black Sabbath with the thumping bass pedal and that demonic-sounding riff. But this all speeds up after many repeats of that... to turn into something a lot more fast and the riff changes into a chaotic, energetic speedy fucker that reminds me of driving the car through the street in the daytime and banging my skull on the air in front of me! Henry sings about a character, "Modern Man", representing the state of people who have no time for intimacy or to be personal and are so fixated on work and the like that they don't even have a desire to enjoy life as much as be a gear in the machine. Another really good song, once again.

6. This is Good
Sort of an erratic guitar riff to this one. A little bit like "Swinging Man", but slower, riff-wise. A little too repetitive, still, so it drags on even though it's probably one of the worse songs on the album.

7. I'm the One
A little better than the track before it, but still kind of falls short compared to the first five songs. It's fast and it's got a verse and chorus and shit. Like that. Hehe. Maybe I just don't feel as good as I did earlier.

8. Sinking
A slow song. Neat bass riff. It's a little less energetic. Not downright fucked-up like the My War stuff, but here's Henry singing "it hurts to be alone". One minute in there's a real good guitar solo, but it's also very short. Starts out kinda melodic but quickly flails into atonal sadness. 'nother guitar solo at two minute and fifteen seconds in. Come to think of it, this song sounds a lot like the kind of stuff they'd be playing on "In My Head", the slow psycho-delic sorta stuff. This one's pretty good.

9. Now She's Black
The beginning is slow. The beat vaguely reminds me of the Butthole Surfers, somehow. Did Black Flag even listen to the Butthole Surfers? I do nut know. This song's about Henry being really in love with a girl who ends up turning on him. There's a slow guitar-only bridge section with Henry speaking the lines rather than singing them. BLACKKK!!! BLAAACK!!! FLAG.

That's the end of the album. Many people don't like the album for its production or the fact that it sounds too much like heavy metal, but that does sort of make it stand out and I like it in some ways better than the similar album that came before it, "Slip It In". There's some real high-energy moments to the album, however, especially the first five songs. YEAH! So, go check it aut if you haven't already. It's a real cool album, mannnnn. WOWEE ZOWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEY.

Top 3 Favorites:
1. Annihilate This Week

2. Modern Man
3. Bastard In Love

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