Black Flag was founded 1977 by guitarist Greg Ginn who also started SST Records to release his band's albums. The group didn't hit its stride until the 80s, only to disintegrate in '86, without ever really breaking through. Black Flag played a hard, dense, angst riddled Rock with such incredible fury that couldn't help but make an impression.
During the group's ten year existence they went through a dozen musicians on bass, drums and vocals. The most notable addition was their third and last vocalist Henry Rollins. With him Black Flag recorded some of their best material.
When Black Flag collapsed both Ginn and Rollins launched solo careers. Ginn released a half dozen so-so albums that were of little consequence. Rollins, on the other hand, founded the highly successful Rollins Band which released a pair of classics "Weight" and "Come In and Burn."
1984 My War
1984 Family Man
1984 Slip It In
1985 Loose Nut
1985 In My Head
2013 What The...
From early in their career, Black Flag's "Damaged," released in '81, has searing guitars, shouted lyrics and aggressive, chant-like backing vocals. Many of Black Flag's best known songs, "Gimmie, Gimmie, Gimmie," the hook heavy "Rise Above" and "Six Pack" with its machine gun guitar are here.
By '84 Rollins is in and the group has veered hard toward Punk Metal (to some fans' dismay). "Slip It In" and "In My Head" are the best from this period. The latter features the ferocious "Drinking and Driving," which can be viewed as a update of KISS' "Detroit Rock City" and the roaring "Retired At 21." The live "Who's Got The 10.5" is excellent.
The line-up features Ginn, Rollins, Kira Roessler (bass) and Anthony Martinez (drums). Opening with blaster "Loosenut" this set features Black Flag's best known songs ("Gimmie, Gimmie, Gimmie," "Slip It In" and "Drinking and Driving"). The playing is leaner and faster than the studio versions. Both Rollins and Ginn are in top form.