Various Black on Black: A Tribute to Black Flag

Just what the world needs: yet another group of half-baked "punkers” belching out versions of Black Flag songs that only serve to detract from the originals. But…wait a minute — this actually kind of rocks! Could it be that a record label actually managed to synch up the best-suited artists for the best Black Flag songs? Surprisingly enough, yes, which is why Reignition Records has dedicated itself to revisiting/expanding on this tribute previously released by defunct purveyors Initial Records. It’s almost shocking how well tracks such as "Rise Above,” "Black Coffee” and "Drinking And Driving” can be updated for the new take on hardcore and its bottom-heavy, overtly 4/4 delivery. More importantly, the versions are delivered in the bands’ (Converge, Black Dahlia Murder, Burnt By the Sun and others give it a go) inherent styles, making songs feel unique, fresh and occasionally even borderline unrecognisable. Still, while not one of these bands actually match the desperation of the original songs, they couldn’t be expected to in today’s punk-friendly climate. Regardless, it’s obvious that for once, bands have been chosen for their adoration of the subject, not the coolness factor. The end result is an actual star on the Black Flag instead of another stain. (Reignition)