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About Black Flag
Black Flag didn’t just accelerate the sound of punk to create hardcore: They wrote the DIY survival guide that’s been passed down to generations of indie rockers. Formed by guitarist/mastermind Greg Ginn and vocalist Keith Morris after seeing their first Ramones show in 1976, Black Flag boast an infamous history marked by rotating lead singers, contrarian stylistic shifts, and police confrontations. But through that constant chaos, Black Flag furthered the notion that a band’s fundamental ideologies—as manifest in their own SST Records imprint and their get-in-the-van/tour-or-die philosophy—were greater than any individual member. Even if their output had been limited to the EPs they released between 1979 and 1981, Black Flag would be legends for unleashing snotty circle-pit standards like “Nervous Breakdown.” But following the recruitment of Henry Rollins for their 1981 debut album, Damaged, Black Flag reached the peak of their powers, plumbing new lyrical extremes in psychological torment and anti-authoritarian rage, while blazing a trail beyond hardcore that paved the way for myriad underground subgenres like stoner rock, doom metal, and jazz-punk. Black Flag disbanded in 1986, though Ginn has periodically corralled new line-ups in the 21st century. But no matter who’s in the group, Black Flag’s iconic four-bars logo remains a visual shorthand for fierce nonconformity.
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