In this series we look back into the year 2013 by reviewing an album from this year every other week.
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Twenty-Eight Years Later…
Almost three decades had passed between Black Flag’s album releases In My Head and What the… . The long period between 1987 and 2012 had been coined by several lukewarm and unlucky reunions, but in January 2013, the announcement sounded serious: Ron Reyes and Greg Ginn revived Black Flag. They were joined by Dave Klein and Gregory Moore, and soon, the first new single Down in the Dirt came together with tour dates. Two more singles followed, an album release was announced, and the new Black Flag was back on the stages.
Reunions always come with an overtone, especially after such a long time. Furthermore, for many listeners and fans, Henry Rollins or Keith Morris are key figures of Black Flag. Even though, founding member and songwriter Greg Ginn left his unique traces in the soundscape of What the…, the remaining line-up was not compiled by guarantors for success.
And thus, What the… has actually become exactly what one might have expected by it: a mediocre Black Flag album that is neither the best nor the worst the band has published before. The new Black Flag sound exerted, every then and when little highlights sparkle out of the misty sound, and overall it sounds like Black Flag. Good thing, they did not continue releasing albums after this one, because otherwise they would have become the AC/DC of Hardcore Punk who publish the same album over and over again. What the… is entertaining and expendable at the same time.
Next up in this series: Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP 2