Thursday, 21 August 2008



Females are difficult people.  You cannot predict them, it seems impossible to please them and it takes a really schooled mind to persuade them.  And this is the cold truth being addressed with “Jealous Again”.

The second Black Flag EP (third SST Records release) is another four blast of energy and fury.  It pretty much picks up where Nervous Breakdown left off with the main change now being Ron Reyes handling vocals instead of Keith Morris, not that their styles are million miles off from the other.

“What can I do without being yelled at?”

“Jealous Again” accelerates with an immediate visceral lurch.  The conversation occurring is the accused turning into the accuser.  It’s a common narrative, the kind of argument that takes place weekly, occasionally daily, within certain pair dynamics.  Here is the sound of stifled freedom coupled with jealous wife syndrome in full execution.  By the time Ginn is soloing two thirds of the way in it all feels headed towards some kind of resignation that this is just how it is going to be.

“It’s not my imagination, I’ve got a gun in my back.”

Up next is the barely minute long “Revenge” exhibiting hard reality crossed with wish fulfilment in dealing with the authorities standing in the band’s way and busting up their shows.  Gangsta rap was seldom so concise, precise and brutal in dealing with the cops.

“You’re an American.”

“White Minority” is quite the song.  I guess from one stance/perspective it could be taken as their version of “White Man In Hammersmith” but equally in a very brutal and dangerous way it sounds just about as right wing as a song could get.  Of course its not what it appears to be on the surface.  A band such as this could only ever be in a position to apply pressure upwards.

“I don’t care what you think.”

Increasing the aggression the heavily dismissive “No Values” offers the listener pure nihilistic representation, giving a set of lines and set of rules to spit in the face of their supposed oppressors.

“We know you stole our song.”

The extended play ends with “You Bet We’ve Got Something Against You!”  This is a harsh instruction, a threat condensed into fifty two seconds.  It is slow, plodding and pounding.  In short it sounds like being punched in the head.  Fortunately it is the band and the listener that is doing the swinging.  With vocals now delivered by Chuck Dukowski there seems an extra rub attached to the ceiling.

This is the sound of being nagged at by those near and far.  Relations and society will always have opinions to throw at you.  Don’t take them on board.

Thesaurus moment: nark.

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