Various Artists – Black On Black: A Tribute to BLACK FLAG

Several months after the release of Henry RollinsRise Above, Initial Records releases this tribute album featuring some of the biggest names and up-and-comers in contemporary hardcore. It’s pretty cool to hear these bands cover the band that pioneered the American punk rock/hardcore movement. The quality ranges from the respectable to the awesome. Most of songs are faithful to the originals with maybe a few tempo changes or different parts thrown in. COALESCE are the first band to offer an original interpretation. For “Jealous Again,” they slow it down considerably and use a heavy COALESCE/SLAYER-esque slant to the riffs. This may be the final recording that the band did before breaking up. CONVERGE unleash an all out brutal cover of “Annihilate This Week.” The song incorporates blast beats in the verses and a crushingly slower chorus and middle section. THE DILINGER ESCAPE PLAN contribute an interesting combo of “Damaged I” and “Damaged II.” “Damaged I” is a faithful, heavier rendition of the classic. “Damaged II” starts off like the original but then trails off into an electronica beat-driven escapade. THE HOPE CONSPIRACY’s version of “Nervous Breakdown” is most notable for its strong vocal performance. This is a cool collection at best but it’s still a cover album. The greatest value of this album to the listener would be if it makes young hardcore fans go back and discover BLACK FLAG…just like every kid should. (Initial Records)

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