VARIOUS ARTISTS: Rise Above: CD

This is a benefit CD for the West Memphis 3 (See the documentary Paradise Lost). I’m sure you heard about this. I read about it in the Los Angeles Times. It has different people singing Black Flag songs, backed by Henry Rollins and the band Mother Superior. I like the premise of the CD – to raise awareness and support a cause. The part that irks me is that Henry is using punk when he long abandoned the scene. Would anyone buy this if it was songs from his solo career? No. I had a coupon, so I bought this out of curiosity. I was disappointed. I grew up on Black Flag. The songs do not have the ferocity of the originals. The lack of Greg Ginn’s guitars sound is definitely missing in the energy. If you are looking for good Black Flag, I would recommend Everything Went Black. Damaged is not their best record! It contains songs that were recorded before Henry joined the band. My opinion is that the end of Black Flag was when Henry started singing. I much preferred when Ron Reyes (Chavo) or Dez Cadena was the singer. This is like going out to see the Dead Kennedys with Brandon Cruz singing.

 –don (Sanctuary)