BLACK FLAG — Slip It In (review)

BLACK FLAG — Slip It In album cover Album · 1984 · Hardcore Punk Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
Slip It In was recorded in a single group of sessions in June 1984, just as My War was recorded in a focused set in December 1983. That may make it more palatable to some listeners, because whereas Family Man (which emerged between My War and this one) was made up of a mass of unusual material recorded at different times during a period of extensive musical development, Slip It In has a much more cohesive sound.

That sound is pretty much "My War, Side 1, Part 2" - whilst there's some shots of the doomier sound of side 2 of My War, for the most part the material here more involves an attempt to return to a hardcore-oriented sound but with the various other styles that Black Flag had dabbled in over the past year - doom metal and jazz in particular - more fully integrated into that hardcore sound.

The end result is a fascinating trip through a darker and more hard-edged take on the sort of territory that their buddies and labelmates in the Minutemen were exploring at the same time, filtered through some absolutely furious emoting from Henry Rollins. Rat's Eyes falls flat - it's almost a good song, mind, but the repetition of the chorus section is a bit excessive and just loses its power after a while, and it could have done with extensive tightening up on that front. On the other hand, You're Not Evil - especially its delirious outro - is so excellent as to forgive most of those sins, and the instrumental Obliteration might be the ultimate counterpoint to anyone trying to claim that the hardcore punk scene lacked for strong musicianship.
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