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YMMV / Black Flag

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  • Broken Base - Perhaps the most polarizing example of a broken base for a punk band. First, there are camps of fans that prefer either the pre-1984 Flag (consisting of raw fast-paced punk) or the 1984-1986 Flag (which consisted of avant-garde experiments in an attempt to push the band's sound forward). Then, there are fans divided by the singer (either Keith Morris, Dez Cadena, Ron Reyes (who was involuntarily credited by the band as "Chavo Pederast"), or Henry Rollins).
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  • Face of the Band - Henry Rollins, despite Greg Ginn being the band's headmaster.
  • Moe: Kira Roessler, the band's former bassist and only female member. She may have been a punk, but she was also tiny and basically looked like any other sweet and innocent teenage girl.
  • Misaimed Fandom: "White Minority" tends to be taken at face value as a song against minorities infiltrating America. Greg Ginn has said the lyrics are meant to be sarcastic, and pointed out the deliberate irony of having a Puerto Rican vocalist (Ron Reyes) sing about "white pride".
  • Narm - Side A of Family Man. Some lines are unintentionally hilarious, such as the rat complaining about not being invited to go bowling in "Shed Reading (Rattus Norvegicus)"
    • The cover of What the....
  • Signature Song - "Rise Above".
  • Tear Jerker: "Nothing Left Inside", "Three Nights", and "Scream" from My War are definitely this. They combine dreary, atonal instrumentals, with Henry Rollins' animalistic screams and powerful lyrics about self-hate. Mark Arm of Mudhoney said that a live performance of "Nothing Left Inside" moved him to tears.
    • "Can't Decide", also off of My War, is another song about existential despair
    • "Life of Pain", "Depression" and "What I See" from Damaged
    • "Damaged 1" started out as a typical hardcore punk song with angsty lyrics improvised by Dez Cadena. Then, when it was rerecorded for Damaged with Henry Rollins on vocals, Ginn had the instrumentals slowed down to fit Rollins' vocals. The result is stunning.
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  • Vindicated by History: Upon its initial release, My War proved highly controversial among the band's fans, who hated its Black Sabbath and Heavy Metal-influenced approach. However, the album did prove popular among some fans, especially two people named Buzz Osbourne and Kurt Cobain, for whom the album was a prime influence. Nowadays, with the rise of Grunge, Sludge Metal, and Metalcore, My War has arguably proved to be Black Flag's most influential album.


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