The Battle of Black Flag has started!

It’s OFFicial. The Battle of the Black Flag’s has started. It seems that there was a reason behind Greg Ginn reforming Black Flag for a show at the UK’s Hevy Festival last week. Ex members not involved in Ginn’s reformed project of Black Flag have formed another project called ‘FLAG’. You can imagine Greg Ginn’s reaction to hearing this news. Steam most likely pumped from his ears and the reaction was to counter act and do his own thing.

‘FLAG’ is made up of Keith Morris on vocals, Chuck Dukowski on bass, Bill Stevenson on drums and Stephen Egerton on guitar. We wonder if Rollins will have the cheek to start a third project with the remaining members not in these two projects as don’t forget, Black Flag had many people playing alongside Ginn over the years. Probably not, but what a palava.

OFF! – The Album

off!_albumsleeveVICE RECORDS

Unless you’ve had your head firmly stuck in the sand, or gone feral in a cave in Bora Bora, OFF! cannot have failed to register on your radar. I believe the story goes that a recording session by the Circle Jerks went to the wall and singer Keith Morris subsequently hooked up with producer Dimitri Coats or something like that, but whatever, the partnership drafted in Steven McDonald from Red Kross, powerhouse skin beater Mario Rubalcaba (lotsa bands) and OFF! was born.

We should be truly grateful, because they’ve gotten Keith back hollering like the Hermosa banshee of oh-so-many years ago, recalling the guy who rallied against the fenced-in, white picket dystopia of Southern California in, first Black Flag, and then the aforementioned CJ’s. Lesser men mighta taken the easy way out and just been happy to continually rewind past glories, but what’s got so many folk stoked on OFF! It’s all new music, new songs. Sure, it’s a sound that trawls back to the source, but delivers it in 2012 sounding fresh, urgent and totally alive.

A buncha roasting 7”s acted as a precursor to OFF!’s capabilities and now this 16 song album has landed (and you better believe it) it’s a totally blasting 17 minutes of raging Hardcore powered by absolutely shredding music. Keith’s all pissed and sarcastic, getting shit off his chest, spitting out 60 second anecdotes about times spent hanging on a wire in distant days (“inside the Masque, with the Alley Cats”) He’s also throwing in candid observations about his fellow citizens in the land of the free… “Teach them to shoot before they can read, sprinkling glass on their Happy Meals”…. cutting!

Seriously, this is an essential album, easily destined to make up a chunk of many folks summer soundtracks and only the most po-faced and blinkered members of the hiperatti will fail to recognise its awesomeness. Oh, and did you know that they shred live too? Thanksfully they will be back in the UK in June. You really need to see them. Get in there and get vaporized!

Pete Craven

OFF! release new Wiped Out video and UK tour

OFF!

OFF! are back with a full album full of raging hardcore this summer and have unleashed a video to the track ‘Wiped Out‘ to give you a taste of what’s coming.

Last year’s release of First Four EP’s saw the band emerge with one of the most explosive punk rock records we have heard in a while, so you should be stoked when you hear the news that this new self-titled album coming via Vice Records has 16 tracks stuffed into just 16 minutes!

Fronted by Keith Morris (Black Flag/Circle Jerks), OFF! will be charging into the UK in June to play a full UK tour with the full album dropping on May 7th. Get a taster of Wiped Out and get hyped.

18-Jun Brighton Haunt
20-Jun London Garage
21-Jun Glasgow King Tut’s
22-Jun Newcastle Academy 2
23-Jun Leeds Brudenell Social Club
25-Jun Manchester Sound Control
26-Jun Nottingham Rock City Basement

Footage of OFF! raging at XOYO last night

off_sleeveHardcore graced London’s XOYO club last night with OFF!, Fucked Up and Cerebral Ballzy all raging through a night of chaos in the capital. Watch 6 minutes of Keith Morris’ OFF! right here from the show.

If you want to see them before they jet home, they play the Old Blue Last tomorrow night with Pettybone. Info on fb here.

Read our review of the First 4 EP’s here.

OFF! – First Four EP’s

off_sleeveVICE Records

OFF! are led by Keith Morris, original vocalist of Black Flag, and since he quit that gig in ’79, fronting the Circle Jerks. Whilst many of Keith’s contemporaries are happy to just rehash the hits, or offer a decaffeinated version of their former selves, OFF! are a damn near return to the pissed off and adrenalized Hardcore fury that came busting out of Hermosa Beach like a bottle rocket. Dammit they sound GREAT! The band also numbers bassist (and latter day producer) Steven McDonald, of those original South-Bay teen punk brats Red Kross, guitarist Dimitri Coats (Burning Brides) and Mario Rubalcaba (Rocket From The Crypt/Hot Snakes) beating the skins.

Following up a debut seven inch, Vice Records have now released this swanky 4 x 7″s collection, with sixteen fast ‘n furious songs (the title being a play on Black Flag’s ‘First 4 Years’ album) and, in a further hark back to their roots, all the artwork is by Raymond Pettibon whose striking images adorned ‘Flag’s record sleeves. And of course Raymond is the brother of the bands founder founder/guitarist Greg Ginn. Keep up at the back!
Keith doesn’t have a University Education, a professional career… or trust funds to prop him up, but his trademark snotty fuck-you vocals have somehow kept this Southern Californian Punk drop-out alive thru the years, and only the most cynical of listeners will fail to appreciate these ripping jams, ‘cos the music is absolutely smoking, timeless Hardcore shred from the source… tune in, turn on, get OFF!

Pete Craven

Enjoy this video of OFF! playing live on a mini ramp in the US.