Black Flag are pretty much unfuckwithable. Sure, you've got plenty of people who are dismissive of certain eras of the 'Flag, but I don't know if I've ever met anyone that is into hardcore or metal that doesn't like Black Flag to some degree. They were so influential, not just on an entire generation of bands, but also in kickstarting what we now think of as the DIY hardcore ethic. Black Flag were crucial. So a tribute album to the 'Flag was a risky project, even though it was also inevitable. Who really wants to shell out for covers of one of the greatest hardcore bands ever being performed by lame-o bands that don't hold a candle to the originals? Why not just listen to the original records? For the Black On Black series of 7"s that was curated by Initial Records in 2003, the label was smart and picked a knockout lineup of bands to be involved, with some of the most important names in modern hardcore included here, each doing their own interpretation of Black Flag originals: American Nothing, Anodyne, Burnt By The Sun, Coalesce, Converge, The Dillenger Escape Plan, Hope Conspiracy, Planes Mistaken For Stars, and Playing Enemy all out in solid covers. A bunch of these bands were already rooted in brutal, Am Rep influenced noise rock (Anodyne, Coalesce, Playing Enemy), so hearing them take on gnarly Flag classics like "Six Pack" and "Life Of Pain" makes for some heavy shit. The most off the wall version comes from Dillenger Escape Plan, who turn "Damaged II" into a crazed noise punk freakout that ends as a weird free-noise dirge/drum n' bass bugout, but my favorite version on here is Converge's take on "Annihilate The Weak", the most vicious, annihilating track on the record, a sickening, feedback-infested Slayerized mutation on the original. Initial shut its doors about two years ago but we found some of the vinyl version of this compilation floating around. The ones that we picked up are on grey marble vinyl and were pressed in an edition of 2,500 copies, and the record is packaged in a simple clear plastic sleeve with a two-sided insert card. Limited quantities!