7 Apr 2010
ON THE DECKS # 12 FLIPPER - LIVE AT THE FILLMORE
Live At The Fillmore
10/31/81 CD Presents 2010
First things first, when I agreed to write this review section for the Rocket blog it was never my intention to review music that is only available in digital format. Then the people at CD Presents decide to go on a release campaign of digital download only albums that span the career of the label (more information on that can be found here http://tinyurl.com/y8fkgk7 . These releases include albums from the label's inception and many previous unreleased gems, this live FLIPPER album being one of them.
FLIPPER was an anomaly in the San Francisco Punk Scene. At a time when hardcore started to take over the underground scene in California the norm was to write faster and shorter songs, FLIPPER stood out in the scene employing loose, repetitive, and hypnotic songs. This live recording from 1981 opening up for PiL in San Francisco is a prime example of the genius of this band.
This 21+ minute set is rapturous from beginning to end. Opening up with an instrumental jam, FLIPPER sets the pace for one damaged and compelling album. I mean think about it. what other punk band would do something so unpopular in the scene at that time? I can't think of one. This dirge of psycho punk drone is a simple riff of chords descending down a scale.all of 1:40 long the jam deteriorates as fast as it starts. What a way to wave two fingers up to everyone.first the punks by the nature of a punk band jamming and then to the SF rock royalty by not noodling on for hours on end.
Out of the mess of the opening track comes Sacrifice. A mid-tempo moronic repetitive riff. Straight on, the pounding drums and bass led guitar genius Ted Falconi do what he does best.make his guitar bleed all over the song. As if Sacrifice isn't slow enough, the band takes it down another step with Survivors of the Plague. Squalling feedback, out of tunes guitars, moronic mantra vocals soar over the sticky soup of hypno-punk bliss. Life, another drone punk scorcher, ends the set and is the only track from this performance that appeared on their debut album Generic. The other two tracks made it on to their 2nd release Gone Fishing in 1984. There is an overall feeling from this recording that at any given moment the performance will completely deteriorate into utter chaos, amazing!
If you will only ever buy one thing on iTunes I suggest this be it. Feed your inner moron, it's only
$3.99 and is well worth every penny. The digital booklet comes with extensive liner notes about the band and the show. It's a document of an era past and sounds just as fresh today as it did in 1981.
More information on FLIPPER can be found here: http://www.flipperrules.com/
and on CD presents here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/CD-Presents/328663055567
Dave W (White Hills)