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Not Your Garden-Variety Punk Rock
Posted by: Parkas4Kids from: Dundalk, MD on
Few bands truly embody the ethos of punk rock quite like Flipper. Founded on the same coast as punk and hardcore legends as Black Flag and Suicidal Tendencies, Flipper pioneered a completely different style of punk/hardcore than most--if not all--their contemporaries. Henry Rollins described the Flipper experience: "They were just heavy. Heavier than you. Heavier than anything...when they played they were amazing." As opposed to playing as fast and loud as humanly possible, Flipper played slow, droning, bass-heavy hardcore that was intended to offend each and every concertgoer.
Getting into Flipper's music takes a little time and patience; as I mentioned above, their sound is unlike pretty much every one of their contemporaries, so it's a hard band to a fellow music lover. However, one thing that can't be taken from them is their influence on the West Coast grunge scene of the late '80s/early '90s; they were big influences on the Melvins, Soundgarden, and even Nirvana (Krist Novoselic toured with Flipper from 2006 to 2009). "Blow'n Chunks" is the band's first-ever live album and is probably their most well-rounded up to that point in their career. Originally released on cassette only, it featured only 9 songs recorded in 1983 during the band's Thanksgiving Day concert at CBGB (the 4 "bonus tracks" were also recorded at or around the same time).
If nothing else, this record serves as a unique gateway into Flipper's music. It's difficult to find a concert recorded at CBGB that isn't lacking in audio quality, but this may very well be one of those rare gems. Much like listening to Suicide, it takes several listens before it starts to grow on you, but I really like it. My favorite tracks are "The Lights, the Sound, the Rhythm, the Noise," "Shed No Tears," "Ha Ha Ha," "In Your Arms," "Life Is Cheap," "In Life My Friend," and "Get Away." Listen to it once, though, and you'll agree that no one plays quite like Flipper!
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