25 Songs, 1 Hour 2 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Before Henry Rollins joined Black Flag and encouraged them to slow down their maniacal pace, Black Flag was an intensely quick hardcore punk band that turned Chuck Berry riffs inside out while speeding past the Ramones in the power-chord department. With singers Keith Morris, Chavo and Dez Cadena handling the microphone, the group has a much more spastic sound. This collection of pre-Rollins recordings — initially released without the band’s name on it, since they were in a contractual dispute — is a solid, fascinating listen to the roots of Southern California hardcore punk. Multiple recordings of “Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie,” “Depression” and “Police Story” with different lead singers help you hear the evolving difference in the group. “Crass Commercialism” is a collection of radio ads for the band that help the listener understand the times and the changing culture. These days the attack of “Revenge” sounds expected, so much of Greg Ginn’s guitar work has been emulated by decades of “alternative” guitar players, but there was a time when these guys were the loudest, most uncompromising guys on the block.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Before Henry Rollins joined Black Flag and encouraged them to slow down their maniacal pace, Black Flag was an intensely quick hardcore punk band that turned Chuck Berry riffs inside out while speeding past the Ramones in the power-chord department. With singers Keith Morris, Chavo and Dez Cadena handling the microphone, the group has a much more spastic sound. This collection of pre-Rollins recordings — initially released without the band’s name on it, since they were in a contractual dispute — is a solid, fascinating listen to the roots of Southern California hardcore punk. Multiple recordings of “Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie,” “Depression” and “Police Story” with different lead singers help you hear the evolving difference in the group. “Crass Commercialism” is a collection of radio ads for the band that help the listener understand the times and the changing culture. These days the attack of “Revenge” sounds expected, so much of Greg Ginn’s guitar work has been emulated by decades of “alternative” guitar players, but there was a time when these guys were the loudest, most uncompromising guys on the block.

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