My War by Black Flag


My War is the second studio album by American band Black Flag. It was released in 1984 on SST Records and polarized fans over its B-side, on which the band slowed down to a heavy, Black Sabbath-esque trudge, despite the reputation the band had earned as leaders in fast hardcore punk on its first album, Damaged (1981).

After a long period of legal troubles during which the band was prohibited from using its own name on recordings, the band returned to the studio with a new approach to its music, incorporated a greater variety of styles resulting in a sound difficult for orthodox punks to accept. The line-up had shrunk from five members to three: vocalist Henry Rollins, drummer Bill Stevenson, and band co-founder and guitarist Greg Ginn. Ginn doubled on bass under the name "Dale Nixon" for the recording as co-founding bassist Chuck Dukowski had been pushed out of the band shortly before recording; the album still includes two tracks by him.

The six tracks on the A-side of the LP are generally high-paced, thrashy hardcore, featuring guitar solos unusual in punk. On the B-side are three tracks in a doom metal style, each breaching the six-minute mark with ponderously slow tempos and unrelentingly dark lyrics of self-hatred. The band members had grown their hair long when they toured the album in 1984, further alienating their hardcore skinhead fanbase. My War has come to be cited as being a major influence on sludge metal and grunge.