February 15, 2015

Black Flag - The Process Of Weeding Out (1985)


Many of the SST bands had respect for the avant garde and the creative deconstruction of music that came before them, namely free jazz. Seeing how pissed Henry Rollins got at bandwagoners, poser teens, and flavor of the month imitation groups, it's safe to assume that he thought his band and bands on SST had something deeper going on. When Black Flag was allowed to release music again sometime in 1984, they grew their hair out and slowed the music down to the point of it actually becoming somewhat of a blueprint for sludge metal. This was in response to the next generation of hardcore punks and anarcho-punks speeding the music up and buzzing their hair. Black Flag's most well known record from this period is the murky and heavy My War, but it didn't stop there. Family Man saw Black Flag go full avant garde with complete musical freeness and spoken word vocals and Slip It In and Loose Nut were just as weird.

I'm not sure of the story behind this album, if there even is one, like if Henry Rollins was either fighting with or on a benevolent hiatus from the group or Greg Ginn just wanted to do something on his own. Basically this album is Ginn and the other two band members going in the studio with little musical direction and him dicking around on the guitar for a half an hour. My favorite element of mid-80s Black Flag is Ginn's guitar tone, and this album delivers plenty of that for sure. No, there are no riffs, but there's something likeable and flat out awesome about prime year SST guitar experimentation.

Sample

The Process Of Weeding Out