Black On Black – A Tribute To Black Flag – Review

Black On Black

A Tribute To Black Flag (Initial)
by Adrian Bromley

There’s nothing finer than one unique band covering another unique band’s song. The results are unpredictable, and, for the most part, creative. If there was one band worthy of a tribute record in 2003, especially with tons of young bands paying homage and/or ripping off their style and sound lately, it’s California’s notorious cult act Black Flag. Not to say they were the driving force in leading music to where it is today, but their D.I.Y. methods, punk rock action, and belligerent attitude added yet another realm to the creative process of music in the early ’80s.

Initial Records has assembled one of the most punishing tribute albums in recent memory, managing to pull together a strong, diverse group of today’s hot acts to give their take on Black Flag’s material. The results are lethal, highlights being The Dillinger Escape Plan tearing through (and adding some electronic elements to) “Damaged I & II,” Converge totally crushing our skulls with the appropriate cover of “Annihilate This Week,” solid covers from Anodyne (“Life of Pain”), The Hope Conspiracy (“Nervous Breakdown”), and Burnt By The Sun‘s rip-roaring “Drinking and Driving.”

Other bands on this tribute record include American Nothing (“Depression”), Coalesce (“Jealous Again”), Planes Mistaken For Stars (“Police Story / Wasted”), and Playing Enemy‘s strong closing cover of “Six Pack.”
(PO Box 17131 Louisville, KY 40217)

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