Various Black on Black: A Tribute To Black Flag

Checking out the stacked line-up on Initial’s seven-inch series turned tribute CD to the mighty Black Flag, a list that includes Converge, the Dillinger Escape Plan, Anodyne, Coalesce, Planes Mistaken For Stars, Playing Enemy and others, it’s clear that Hank missed the boat with his recent Flag benefit, sonically at least. American Nothing (formerly American Nightmare, now Give Up The Ghost) sets the tone with a ruthless version of "Depression,” and while none of the artists tackle "My War” or "T.V. Party” (probably a good thing), it’s pretty much all hits, few misses on this homage to one of the most important punk/hardcore bands ever. The bands that retain the core Flag aesthetic while sonically making the song their own may rile the purists, but in tributes it works best and Converge’s "Annihilate This Week,” Coalesce’s "Jealous Again,” Dillinger’s "Damaged I & II” and Anodyne’s "Life of Pain” all take the Flag and make it their own. Or at least put their stamp on the Flag, let’s not kid ourselves here. And while some of the other tracks are almost note for note renditions, like Burnt By the Sun’s "Drinking and Driving,” and may make you want to search out your closet full of cassettes to hear the originals, Black on Black is a fitting tribute to the sonic nihilism and influence of the mighty Flag. (Initial)