Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Black Flag ~ The Process Of Weeding Out (EP)





(No official website.)
Style: hard rock, instrumental
Label: SST Records
Year: 1985
Home: California

Members: Greg Ginn ~ guitar
Kira Roessler ~ bass
Bill Stevenson ~ drums


How many punk bands can you name that have put out an entirely instrumental album? This is not the most technically challenging album, particularly when it relies on atonal guitar solos versus traditional fluid melody lines that make the ear cringe, but it takes a lot of guts to release something that may go against your band's reputation ... let alone put off listeners ... in the name of experimental art. Luckily, BF didn't take the Lou Reed approach & release an album of unbearable noise (i.e. Metal Machine Music), but noize is a factor in this album that attempts to bring together the jazz & rock influences of bandleader Greg Ginn. Albeit, Ginn goes more for the rock end of the spectrum than jazz, making this more of an odd experiment than a musical ground-breaker. Ginn has nothing on the ground-breaking jazz-rock, or jazz fusion, work of guitarists Larry Coryell & Mahavishnu John McLaughlin & Jeff Beck on the rock side. At times it's a whiny groove-based rock album, other times it's a free jazz odyssey of the Ornette Coleman variety. Neither is really a success but it's definetly something interesting for the musicologist. Though, for those that know Black Flag such a creation as this should come as no surprise. They might be known as one of the first hardcore punk bands, but the essence of punk is about blazing new trails ... this album only continues to show how Black Flag lived up to that goal. For those used to modern punk, i.e Green Day, this is not be the album to be introduced to Black Flag by ... though, for those interested in originality The Process Of Weeding Out is an important nail in the coffin of how far you can take music before it becomes unlistenable. Yes, unlistenable. This album is indeed a weeding out of those who don't have the guts to listen to something that's non-traditional & largely disturbing. Albeit, I would love to see more bands should follow their lead & not be afraid to take their creativity to the limit. The outcome may not be great but the incentive behind it is admirable & inspirational. If you don't know who Black Flag is & you're not yet ready to delve into the other parts of their discography, all you really need to know is that their former lead singer is icon Henry Rollins. Look at his output & you'll understand everything you need to still be somewhat cool around us rockers.



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