Classic Day – Make Me Come

black_flag_damaged_01The technical debut studio record from hardcore outfit Black Flag started the first wave with Damaged. The record that held some of the first punches from the punk community coming directly from Henry Rollins replacing the first singers of Keith Morris (OFF!, Circle Jerks), Ron Reyes (PIGGY), and Dez Cadena (Misfits) which came after a quick two year period. Finally, after finding what had seemed to be a permanent singer, Dez Cadena stayed in Black Flag alongside Greg Ginn on guitar. Chuck Dukowski was on the bass which left Julio Roberto “Robo” Valverde Valencia on the percussion.

The band was fully formed and all provided the backing vocals for one of the largest influencers in punk rock history. Black Flag has this importance about them even when they first struck the scene in 1979 with Nervous Breakdown on SST Records. Also, the first release on SST Records, Nervous Breakdown held angst in these formative guitar rocks that shook foundation but never captured the mainstream attention that Black Flag would eventually go on to control.

Damaged was going to help with the shattered mirror covered primarily by the strong arm of frontman Rollins, the near 35-minutes of tempo changing punk rock was a heaven-sent revolution. The first track “Rise Above” is a Molotov cocktail instantly recognizable from the simple drum pattern that appears before the guitars crash in. The chorus of “We…are tired… of your… abuse” captures almost every teenager’s angst-ridden pushback against oppression in any way. The message behind the music is equally expressive and highlights exactly just how to spark a movement through sound.

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The real standout of Damaged however was “TV Party” which was a bender influenced track that was introspective on the monster within your home. As Rollins explains, We got nothing better to do, than watch TV and have a couple of brews. Don’t talk about anything else, we don’t wanna know. We’re dedicated to our favorite shows.” Somehow, without becoming moronic, Black Flag can be upbeat and catchy with comedic undertones in a similar fashion. The vein of the writing on Damaged is one of the first and last records of Black Flag’s that held this style of sound. Rollins would then take over the writing and become more and more paranoid and deranged through the storytelling which quickly gave Black Flag their iconic edge to music.

Gone was the “TV Party” and the “Spray Paint” tracks, which ushered in tracks like “Depression” and “Padded Cell” which were still written before Rollins was in the band, but had different emotions behind them. The days only got darker as time progressed and soon Black Flag became the frantic animal in a cage that was ready to bust loose at any second.

Listen To Damaged Here!!! – Spotify/Amazon/iTunes
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