9 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

With My War, the true Henry Rollins era of Black Flag begins. He was brought in to sing Greg Ginn’s songs for Damaged and with My War became a fully integrated member of the band, nudging the band towards slower tempos that emphasized their atonal freakouts. This slide towards MC5, free-jazz bust-outs put them at odds with punk rock’s insistence on short, fast rules. But it made the group a distinctive entity at a time when most hardcore punk bands were passing in a blur. Only the title track ever gained true notoriety, but tracks such as “Can’t Decide,” “Three Nights” and the eternal trudge of “Scream” make the case for Greg Ginn as one of the era’s most important guitar players. His solos are off the wall, while his riffage brings back the ghosts of early Black Sabbath at a time when Sabbath was fading from view. Rollins’ throaty, guttural vocal stabs recast the band as a formidable live outfit whose concerts were true endurance tests for all involved.

EDITORS’ NOTES

With My War, the true Henry Rollins era of Black Flag begins. He was brought in to sing Greg Ginn’s songs for Damaged and with My War became a fully integrated member of the band, nudging the band towards slower tempos that emphasized their atonal freakouts. This slide towards MC5, free-jazz bust-outs put them at odds with punk rock’s insistence on short, fast rules. But it made the group a distinctive entity at a time when most hardcore punk bands were passing in a blur. Only the title track ever gained true notoriety, but tracks such as “Can’t Decide,” “Three Nights” and the eternal trudge of “Scream” make the case for Greg Ginn as one of the era’s most important guitar players. His solos are off the wall, while his riffage brings back the ghosts of early Black Sabbath at a time when Sabbath was fading from view. Rollins’ throaty, guttural vocal stabs recast the band as a formidable live outfit whose concerts were true endurance tests for all involved.

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