Album Review: Flipper – ‘Album: Generic Flipper’

Slow, sludgy, rather brilliant grunge precursors

“Wait… everybody start at the same time. Ready?” A telling intro from

a band who made a punishing virtue out of being sloppy, offbeat and imprecise. Flipper existed at the epicentre of the Californian punk scene in the early ’80s, but as their hardcore peers sped up, they slowed down. A simple concept that helped to create a remarkable, incomparable signature sound, one which trickled down into the musical visions of, most famously, Black Flag and Nirvana.

Released in 1982, this is their definitive statement and the best of the four ’80s-era Flipper discs being reissued. Far be it from us to suggest that Domino might have been inspired by the emergence of soundalike bands such as Pissed Jeans and Times New Viking, but their sludgy absurdism and in-the-red production values suggest that Flipper might be rewarded with a fresh audience. If that happened, it would be a wholly fine thing. Lyrically a bipolar flip between ugly negativity and lightbulb-moment optimism (“Life is the only thing worth living for!”), musically, ‘Generic’ turns almost unrelated layers of free expression into a blackened mass of enduring power.

Noel Gardner

Click here to get your copy of Flipper’s ‘Album: Generic Flipper’ from the Rough Trade shop

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