Sunday, June 5, 2016

Album Review: Everything Went Black

Album: Everything Went Black
Band: Black Flag
Genre: Hardcore Punk
Year of Release: 1982
Duration: 1:02:29 
Rating: 9.0/10

   Everything went Black is a fantastic compilation of unreleased Black Flag recordings from their pre-Rollins era. I usually don't care much for compilations of unreleased material, but this is an amazing album to listen to. If you are familiar with the band's debut first Damaged and/or their EP Jealous Again, then you will know most of the songs on this album, as the majority of the songs on here are also found on those recordings. The only song on here that isn't on any other Black Flag release is "I don't Care". The first nine songs on the album are sung by Keith Morris, Black Flag's original singer. Its nice to hear more Black Flag recordings with him on vocals, as he was only with the band during the release of their debut EP Nervous Breakdown. These are the strongest tracks on the album, however, like the legendary Nervous Breakdown EP, there is almost no bass at all. This isn't much of a problem though, because it adds to the raw sound of the album. The next five songs on this album are sung by Ron Reyes. These songs are good and I really enjoy Reyes's version of "My Rules". The last ten songs on the album are sung by Dez Cadena, who wasn't particularly my favorite Black Flag singer. The last track on this album isn't an actual song, it is 17 minutes of amusing radio ads for Black Flag's concerts black in the late 70's. Many of these are very funny, especially the first one, in which the life of the average Black Flag fan is pretty much summed up. My only problem with this album is the large number of repeat songs. A lot of the songs are played more than once, so for example, by the time yo hear "Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie" for the third time on the same album, you get kind if tired of it. It is interesting to see how the songs evolved though. I really like this album, and its not just for hardcore Black Flag fans either, as many anthologies of unreleased recordings usually are. Overall, if you like angry Punk Rock with songs under 4 minutes, then this album is definitely for you.

Strongest Tracks: "Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie", "Depression", "Police Story", "My Rules", "No Values", "White Minority", "Damaged I", "Clocked In"

Weakest Tracks: "Damaged II", "Padded Cell"