Rise Above: 24 Black Flag Songs to Benefit the West Memphis Three

March 30, 2017 - Comment

Holy countercultural confluence! For the cause of fundraising for the defense of a trio of legally bound Arkansas headbangers–one of whom is currently on death row on the basis of hearsay testimony–Henry Rollins has resurrected the sacrosanct songs of his legendary former Los Angeles hardcore band Black Flag. Much as he first joined the popular

Buy Now! $89.97Amazon.com Price
(as of 24 June 2018 18:27 UTC - Details)

Holy countercultural confluence! For the cause of fundraising for the defense of a trio of legally bound Arkansas headbangers–one of whom is currently on death row on the basis of hearsay testimony–Henry Rollins has resurrected the sacrosanct songs of his legendary former Los Angeles hardcore band Black Flag. Much as he first joined the popular Flag by jumping on stage and grabbing the microphone, Rollins here assigns lead vocals to a bewildering array of guests, including Iggy Pop, Dean Ween, Corey Taylor of Slipknot, Tom Araya of Slayer, Queens of the Stone Age, and Ice T. The Rollins Band convincingly serves as caustic backing band throughout. Protest music godfather Chuck D. of Public Enemy appears as well, though simply to introduce the album. Many of the singers, whether inspired by the cause itself or the muscular caliber of Black Flag’s music, deliver the rebellious message with heartfelt intensity. Motorhead leader Lemmy’s ripping version of “Thirsty and Miserable” is a stunning highlight, as is Hank Williams III’s psychotic “No Values.” Former Flag singers Keith Morris and Chuck Dukowski bring their veteran intensity, and Rollins himself shouts “My War,” “TV Party,” “Black Coffee,” “Annihilate This Week,” “Slip It In,” and the title track. (Flag guitarist-lyricist Greg Ginn is notably absent, though his trademark clear Lucite guitar joins the West Memphis Three defendants on the cover artwork.) The participating musicians’ anger and frustration over the West Memphis Three case, which has been detailed in HBO’s Paradise Lost documentaries, is well matched with the giant fury of this band. –Ian Christe

Comments

Write a comment