I saw several incarnations of BF, including Dez only, Dez-and-Henry, Henry-only. I have heard (at least once) every note of their oeuvre. I admire their dedication to their scene and their internal commitment to their band (practice schedules, tours, etc). I totally admire their support of their local scene. they had an admirable monomania.
Unfortunately, their music means nothing to me. I will go as far as to say it is stupid. Next to the Bad Brains, Minor Threat or Die Kreuzen (all of whom had greater and lesser moments), they are the obvious weak link.
I don’t think I am capable of appreciating this music. I cannot hear it as anything but indulgent and childish. It seems like mere “look at me!” tantrum stuff except that it is also macho and jockish, and therefore stupid.
I’ll bet its primary appeal is to former fans of Ted Nugent and Kiss who “discovered” punk rock, and longed for a band they could like for the same reasons they liked ted Nugent and Kiss.
- steve albini
While paying attention to the legit praise Albini flings at Ginn, I’ll go ahead and respectfully disagree with the above. It was usually too much 25 ta Life and too much Earth Crisis, sharing their boots with my back and neck. I just don’t see the cock-rock underpinnings (certainly not Kiss + Nugent in 1997) in some HC causing the violence that drove so many of us into wondering “what’s this all for?” and “does it have to be this way?”
And recall also that people went batshit when Flag grew their hair and started rocking Dio-era Sabbath. When they finally got outta their court case they fucked themselves by making three records that both individually and as a triptych fucked hardcore and riled the very aspirant thugs I think we’re takling about.
This is generational. For some of us hardcore didn’t end in 1986, after all. It’s as if, with rarer and rarer exceptions, hardcore became further emptied of art and artists and further filled to the brim with farcical and aggressive formulas, faux kinship, and nationalism in all but name as fists pumped in syncopation, key symbols flew on the backs of lads’ coats, and straight edge invited devotees to give their bodies unto a total discipline meant to be confused with freedom or autonomy.
Even if Flag touched on some of this, the problem of hc thuggery in the cultural vacuum and the ur-nationalist spirit that fills it has kept going and going.