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What the

Black Flag Audio CD
2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

Price: $11.66 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 3, 2013)
  • Original Release Date: 2013
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sst Records
  • ASIN: B00G28N10A
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,356 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. My Heart's Pumping
2. Down In The Dirt
3. Blood and Ashes
4. Now Is The Time
5. Wallow In Despair
6. Slow Your Ass Down
7. It's So Absurd
8. Shut Up
9. This Is Hell
10. Go Away
11. The Bitter End
12. The Chase
13. I'm Sick
14. It's Not My Time To Go-Go
15. Lies
16. Get Out of My Way
17. Outside
18. No Teeth
19. To Hell And Back
20. Give Me All Your Dough
See all 22 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Black Flag s long-awaited 22-track album of new music will be released on December 3. What The ... is a monumental collection of scathing songs that is the essence of Black Flag.

What The..., Black Flag s 19th release in their genre-defining catalog, is a riveting progression for the band. Starting with its first track, the churning My Heart s Pumping through to the searing Wallow in Despair, the album blazes through the music that is sure to brand the bars on your brain.

Black Flag s What The...will be released as a full-length album on CD and vinyl. Down in the Dirt, Wallow in Despair and The Chase have been previously released.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars We've got...nothing left to doooooo... December 15, 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
My father died prior to this album's release. That's all that stops this waste of studio time from being the biggest tragedy of my life in 2013.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What the... is right... January 17, 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is not a Black Flag record, it's just an excuse for Greg Ginn to jam. Ron Reyes' vocals are way too low in the mix making these songs, for the most part, torturous to listen to. When Reyes was in Black Flag he mostly just sang Keith Morris' songs and he was great at doing that. But coming up with his own melodies for songs is not really something he is very good at. I've always loved his vocal style and if his vocals in these songs were up higher in the mix I think I could actually get into most of the songs...but..they're not. I think he was sent the guitar tracks and told to sing over them. There does not seem to be any cohesion between the music and his vocals. Well, "My Heart is Pumping" succeeds a bit and is really, in my opinion the only song that is any good on this entire record. I hate to say it because I love the guitar sounds that Greg Ginn makes, but I feel that aside from Jambang and Texas Corrugators, Ginn's best days musically ended with Black Flag's "In My Head" in 1985. He pulls amazing sounds out of his guitar but nothing clicks, it's all random, he makes sounds, not songs. His playing on this new record is for the most part as much a torture to listen to as most of his records that he made under the name, Gone. I waited 29 years for this record and I feel that i was short-changed: from the stupid cover art, to the vocals mixed extremely low in the mix, to the throwaway songs, all that I have to say is "WHAT THE?!?" I don't think Greg Ginn really cares about what he puts out as long as he's putting something out. I'm done buying anything with Greg Ginn's name on it. If Flag (the OTHER Black Flag) puts out a record I will buy it right away because I feel that those people will at least respect the 1/2 of the name they have and the musical heritage of the band's members. Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Flashes of brilliance but deeply flawed December 22, 2013
Format:MP3 Music
If someone gave me these recordings and passed em off as demos for a new Flag album; I’d say wow! Can’t wait until they flesh out the best 10 or 12 tunes! It’s a frustrating listen, but one with many flashes of brilliance. Top complaints: muddy production and an off balance mix that bury the drums (which sound like wet mattresses - when you CAN hear them). Most of the tracks feel like over-rushed, half-baked ideas for songs. Promising rhythm breaks end abruptly just as they’re about to take off, ripping Ginn solos break off after a few seconds, and sorry but Reyes was never a favorite of mine. He sounds much as he did in the late 70’s, which isn’t necessarily a good thing over 20+ tracks.
That said there are about half a dozen or so songs that any Flag fan would appreciate it and should add to their collection; “My Blood’s Pumping” “Down in the Dirt”, “Off My Shoulders”, “Bitter End”, “Not My Time”, “Lies” and few others.
Ginn also comes up with some dense, knotty classic riffage. But I wanna keep yelling; brighten up the mix! Turn up the drums! Do a longer rythm break! SHUT UP Ron!
One gets the sense that the material was stitched together in parts (lets record the bass today, then the drums next week etc…) and not really worked out as a band over weeks of practice and refinement. It sounds pro-tooled to death. Seeing as the band leader is HALF the band, principal songwriter and label chief it’s no wonder the album is also overwhelmed by an annoyingly loud guitar mix. Flag is best when Ginn’s explosive guitar work is jabbing and snarling against a rhythm section that knows how to goad and challenge him.
Many of the best songs here are actually not long enough.
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Format:Audio CD
What might have been with a little editing (actually a LOT of editing) and a decent mix. I.e. one that wasn't muddy where one could actually hear the drums and vocals without straining. But I'm afraid Black Flag guitarist and headman Greg Ginn has opted to produce What The... himself and in doing so has created a murky sonic soup of an album that whose only similarity to previous Black Flag efforts is the name.

For the old fan that I am I find little to none of that cathartic release that Black Flag's best material still gives me. This isn't the First Four Years, Damaged or Slip It In by a LONG margin. What The.. isn't awful, but I'm not going to be playing it much again. Some of these funk/punk or mid-tempo excursions might have worked better if the vocals and drums were more integrated with the guitar. But the way this album is mixed the vocals and drums sound almost like an afterthought. Certainly Ginn gives them much less importance compared to his own contributions. But lets be honest here, the drummer isn't all that great to begin with, being servicable but without personality and the bass is played by Greg Ginn under his old pseudonym Dale Nixon. The consequence being a lack of rhythm section interplay with the guitar... the overly LOUD guitar. Ron Reyes was never my favorite vocalist with BF. He isn't bad vocally but his lyrics, those I can understand anyway, to often swing from mediocre to cringe-worthy. The worst criticism is that I could live with the muddy mix and the lackluster lyrics if the songs were at all memorable. Most aren't and it's not worth wading through the 22 songs to find the good ones. Compositionally this is far from the avant-punk/metal of Black Flag's last album In My Head.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars What The???
Some people argue about what Black Flag is and which members have created the biggest impact on its success. I have been listening to Black Flag since I was a kid. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Aaron Ball
3.0 out of 5 stars Too early to tell
Don't drink from the poisoned well and listen for yourself. I reserve judgement but I do know there are tracks I do enjoy and I will give the album an honest opportunity. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Vico
4.0 out of 5 stars Could've been so much better...
Self explanatory. Should've trimmed it down to twelve or thirteen amazing songs instead of a bloated twenty-two tracks. Read more
Published 8 months ago by L. .Wolkoff
4.0 out of 5 stars Even Without Henry, This Band Still Rocks 80's Style Punk
I was surprised when I saw this album for sale and snatched it up. Black Flag has modernized a tad bit since when I first started listening to them in the late 80's, but they are... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Christopher M. Raiti
4.0 out of 5 stars This is Black Flag - 2013
I enjoy this album, and own every other recorded piece of music they ever made. Saw them 4 times in 1984 - 1985 and twice in 2013. Do not compare this to 1981 Damaged. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Ed W.
1.0 out of 5 stars Get off..........
This is pretty bad. I guess I was expecting a return to old school Black Flag, but that is not to be found here. We all know that Ginn IS Black Flag. Read more
Published 9 months ago by goozemann
1.0 out of 5 stars Black Flag's low point.
The lyrics are embarrassing. The music is uninspiring. I gave this a fair chance, and judged it solely based on the music, and not the drama surrounding Black Flag and Flag. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Kelsey Cain
4.0 out of 5 stars Ginn = Black Flag
It's important to differentiate Greg Ginn the businessman and Greg Ginn the artist. I don't care that he may be a jerk. Read more
Published 9 months ago by THE MAGISTRATE
5.0 out of 5 stars Now is the Time (to buy this album)
I grew up going to Black Flag gigs, often seeing and hearing both a new line-up and a new sound. After 1986, I never expected Greg Ginn to do what he did this year in re-uniting... Read more
Published 9 months ago by George Waters
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