HIGH WATER MARK
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Last and Best (Bittersweet!). Slickest sounding of all Black Flag albums (that is by no means a bad thing). Greg Ginn is equally exceptional as a song writer and guitarist. I would like to have been a fly on the wall around these guys from early '84 to early '86 (probably the most prolific band ever over a 2 yr span). Nothing gets the heart pumping quite like "Society's Tease". It's money well spent."
Leaving us on a high note
Dave Lang | Coburg, VIC Australia | 05/12/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Most people can't figure out Black Flag post-Damaged. Pidgeon-holed as merely a hardcore punk band, the shorthairs went a'runnin' when the band grew their hair long, discovered jazz and Black Sabbath and started getting increasingly eccentric/esoteric with every release. Those who dismiss their post-Damaged period are missing out on some great music, and this is one of the real highpoints. Given the period, the songs are longer and keep a relative mid-tempo, though unlike the rather average Loose Nut LP - which kept a fairly standard meat'n'potatoes rock'n'roll sound, In My Head has Ginn and the crew going through some pretty serious jazz/prog moves intertwined with the punk/rock stylings they're known for. The opener, "Paralyzed", is one of the best ever 'Flag songs, a perfect combination of Rollins' howl and Ginn's Frippian-style guitar dynamics, and the entire side two, both lyrically and musically, is a great poke in the eye to the rabid conformity and sheepishness that had become so prevalent in Reagan era America, attacking all the right targets with a wit/sarcasm most people probably never associate with the band (mostly people who just don't GET Black Flag). "Society's Tease" ranks up there with "Rise Above" and "Police Story" as one of the essential 'Flag anthems. A great record from a truly great band."
We want to experiment without being an art band
James Swish | Brussels, Belgium | 12/19/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The quote in the title is from Will Shatter (Flipper) and in hindsight it is easy to see how innovative Black Flag really were, always -aginst the grain- pushin their music and themselves forward - even if it meant stealing spare tyres, going without sleep for five days and eating dog food. I remember there was a poll in Flipside around the time this album came out titled 'band you think should call it a day' and yes - Black Flag came out top and whilst that may have been right as the band was crippled by the hatred between Henry Rollins and Greg Ginn, this album shows they still had it. For anyone who hasn't heard it, the album is a lot more experimentally "sonic" that the preceding albums with Ginn creating creepy crawling spidery riffs more complex than out and out metal riffing of 'Loose Nut'. The songs have weird shape shifting tempos with everthing treated with hallucinatory reverberation. Rollins vocals are buried in the mix and could be called 'psychotic whispering' which I believe is down to the fact that this album was originally intended to be an instrumental album (i also read it was to be Greg Ginn's first solo album) and was recorded in its entirety without Rollins. That is what gives it a quality unlike any other BF album that takes most of the songs away from normal 'rock' into almost improv riffing as Henry jams on songs like 'Black Love', 'Crazy Girl'. There are a few bootlegs of the band at this time floating around and i would recommend people to track them down as well as it shows how great the band would have been live at this time. They play this material tight but at faster 4/4 tempos and Rollins is screaming the lyrics. Great album from a great band."