Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Black Flag - Damaged (review)

Dear Thomas,

The other day we talked about Damaged by Black Flag, and you told me you “didn't get it”. In this, I respect your honesty. Almost every other “hardcore” jerkoff would just smile and pretend, afraid to say what they really thought. Because, well, you don't fuck with the Flag, man. Or something.

I was 15 years old when I first heard Damaged, and to this day I still associate the record with myself back then – pissed at the world, without a clue as to why. In Damaged I was tipped to the universality of teen angst stemming from nothing. I realised there were more confused and pissed off fuck-ups out there than just me. And I mean, these people were fuck-ups – poorly recorded chords thrown over basic drumbeats and bad vocals. “The Stooges, man”. At the time I was spending my weekends hanging out with boy racers and getting handjobs of skanks drunk on Bernadino Spumante. To me, Damaged means revelation. It means that any pissed off shithead can start a band, and this fact alone changed my life. In this it is a signifier to something more. But, maybe to everyone else it's just a collection of songs played by Rollins, Ginn, Cadena, Dukowski and Valverde, and in this case, there's not really any such thing as “not getting it”. You just don't like the music! My only suggestion is that listening to Police Story drink at 4am might bring the sort of shitty-vibes- overload cathartic experience which means you truly do “get it”.

Best regards,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Not just anyone could make black flags music. Though easily mistaken as simple minded music flag is actually very intelligent, and Ginn's guitar playing is actually very well thought out and interesting once you realize that it sounds all fucked up on purpose. You can also realize that the anger doesn't stem from nothing. It's a record about alienation and about confusion. It's actually very enlightening. So I think someone can get it or not get it. It's very smart on a subtle level. The intelligence is just hidden underneath the brutality.