Saturday, August 30, 2014

Black Flag - Family Man

Celebrating its thirtieth anniversary is Family Man, the third full length studio album from Black Flag. The record was broken into two parts thematically; the first side featured spoken word tracks by Henry Rollins while the second side was mostly instrumentals.

Side one begins with the title track “Family Man”, a poem about an angry young man who has returned home.

“Salt on a Slug” is an observational piece about something every young man has done at least once. Clearly the audience found it humorous.

The dark confessional “Hollywood Diary” is only thirty-six seconds long.

Next up is “Let Your Fingers Do the Walking”, then “Shed Reading (Rattus Norvegicus)” and the very short “No Deposit - No Return”.

The nine-plus minute long “Armageddon Man” is the only track on the record to combine both music and lyrics. It actually passes at a decent pace, thanks to Rollins’ stream-of-conscious narrative.

Side two opens with “Long Lost Dog of It”, a mellow number with solid percussion and some guitar feedback.

The next track gets an award for one of the longest titles - “I Won’t Stick Any of You Unless and Until I Can Stick All of You!” How it actually fits with the music I cannot really say. It does have a catchy rhythm though.

“Account For What?” features a cool, jazz-like bass line by Kira Roessler.

The album closes with “The Pups Are Doggin’ It”. It sounds as if we are coming in on the middle of this jam as the track starts up.

Family Man was indeed an experimental record in every sense of the word. Black Flag clearly was a band who was playing by their own rules; big props to them for that. For me though, this is a record that I would not see myself listening through more than once. Overall, it is just not my scene.

For more posts about Black Flag, click here.

No comments: