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Review: Black Face by Jayson

So just in case you don’t know what the deal with this is: This is a 7″ with two songs Chuck Dukowski wrote in the day, meaning the Black Flag day and have sat around for 20 odd years. Eugene S. Robinson is singing. This at least seemed like kind of a big deal.

To start out with, I screwed up. I listened to “Monster” first because the sides aren’t labeled A & B, they’re Death & Monster. Pay your money, take your chances I guess. “I Want To Kill You” is the A side really. It sounds just like a Black Flag song, oddly enough. I know right? It’s just like… I don’t know why this didn’t make it onto an actual Flag Album. It’s like… maybe not quite the instant classic status of the stuff on the First Four Years comp, but it could pretty easily be one of the not quite as good songs on Damaged like Room 13 and Padded Cell.

“Monster” is actually roughly a ton better. It doesn’t sound anything like a Black Flag song. It’s got way more of a Stooges vibe. Where on the first song Robinson is pretty much going for the “shouting like I’m in Black Flag” on the second he’s more in Oxbow/Iggy Pop mode. I am not sure what this means about the state of who I have become as a person since such times as when I contemplated getting the Black Flag tattoo that everyone has, but yeah. Flag minus Flag sounds a ton better.

The only other thing that really stands out is how pretentious this whole deal is. Like this is kind of a cool little deal, a single that is guaranteed to sell with aging punks and weirdos. Done deal, I bought mine. It’s just stuff like the Death side, ooooooh the DEATH SIDE. That and the little thing on the back of the stickers:

Black Face: a selective collective take on music as riot and Dukoski-era Black Flag.

Seriously? You’re dudes recording some old tunes. I mean I am not going to be the guy that says music is not important, but at the same time what is this artist’s statement crap? What does music as riot even mean anyway? Neither the cops breaking up Flag shows in the day nor Eugene having his dick out at Oxbow shows really constitute a riot. It seems even more exceptionally pretentious in the year of the Arab Spring, the increasing brutality of the police reaction to the OWS protest and the actual serious for real rioting that burned whole chunks of London down. It’s just like… ‘music as riot’ says nothing greater to me than punk rock has a disproportionate sense of it’s own gravity & depth.

Still available on grey at the Hydrahead shop. 

– Jayson

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5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

so the music is good but the marketing sucks? Great music review. Will you complain about the color of the vinyl next?

Comment by Vince

I would rate my feelings on the grey color of the vinyl as “mostly positive.”

Comment by Jayson

Jayson:
I am glad you like our music. “Monster “was a tune that Black Flag had difficulty playing as the chorus is in 15/4 time and the verse is in 6/8. Gregg could not play it nor Billy. I have played with Gregg in the past as well as on Oxbows first several albums.
“I want to kill you” is actually brand new. This was just what we started with. Nothing else. Music as Riot? Nice phrase, some mental imagery, do you want a riot? Stick with metaphors. You did not comment on Sophocles: The looters etc. This band has elements of art as well as in your face music as we are a blend of Flag and Oxbow consciousness.. Black Face also expresses to deal with dehumanization, Globalism, loss of human rights just like OWS.Pretension? Well, we all have to dream a bit, no? This was all done with a good heart and I hope you come see us when we play. Thanks again bro.
All the best
Tom Dobrov

Comment by Black Face

Tom,

Wow. Thank you for your commentary. After reading them I feel like my review misjudged what your project is about. This is one of the things I always feel trepidation about writing any negative commentary because there is always a chance the distance between my interpretation and your intentions. If you’re playing in Cleveland you can be sure I’ll be there.

Thanks again.

Comment by Jayson

Hm. Sounds interesting to me!

Comment by marshottentot




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