The FLEX YOUR HEAD compilation 12″ is a classic album that every hardcore fan/collector should own.
It holds the history of the 1980’s DC scene and features some of the best DISCHORD bands from the beginning of American Hardcore Punk. An era where ‘Ronnie Reagan’ was public enemy nr. 1 and the great British Punk invasion all turned down to be a big swindle.
During a recent visit to Amsterdam browsing through some local record store bins, my eye caught the attention of this classic gem. The albumcover features the DC flag stars and bars ( with the well known straight edge XXX’s incorporated). To me a sign to buy this in Amsterdam, where XXX is all over the the city in tourist stores, streetsigns, bridges,…
|DC flag stars and bars|
This album features a nice collection of songs, giving us a sample of the 1980’s DISCHORD bands, including tracks by TEEN IDLES, YOUTH BRIGADE, VOID, SOA (with Henry Garfield on vocals before he became Henry Rollins) and MINOR THREAT amidst others. With 11 bands, each playing 2 to 3 songs, on this compilation you get a nice representation of what the DISCHORD / DC scene was all about.
DISCHORD and IAN MACKAYE translated an idea through his music that influenced many people for over thirty years now, many bands, scenes have sprung up, trying to follow in the footsteps of these legends.
I won’t get into detail about all the songs and bands since they’re too many to discuss this time, i’m gonna leave that up to you dear readers. All i can say is you probably all know what to expect from the DISCHORD label and it’s bands, ideas and style. A legacy that led to influential bands and genres that provided inspiration to many.
The artwork is based on one of the previous releases, namely the 1982 release featuring the XXX DC flag stars and bars, only this time they opted for red and white as main colors instead of black and white.
According to the red and white cover, the vinyl-color is of a transparent red blending in perfect with the album cover.
|Clear red vinyl|
Amidst the songs we find classics such as 12XU, by MINOR THREAT. A cultclassic covered on many occasions by a diverse range of bands/projects/artists.
As discussed earlier, many different versions of this album are in the running . The first pressings were in 1982 and that year a second an third pressing were released. each with different covers, being the VIOLINS version (/4000), the WHEAT FIELD version (/3000) and the DC FLAG stars and bars (/2000). In 1985 another re-release came with the BLURRY photo as album cover. This version has been repressed once more in 2008. And now they’ve decided to press up another batch for all those newcomers/nostalgics to own their copy and discover a piece of the birth of American Hardcore.
|In the bottom right corner we find some pressing info about previous releases|
A nice anecdote about the background of the VIOLINS and WHEAT FIELD covers was once told to me by fellow collector and H8000 legend EDWARD GOOD LIFE during a visit to GOOD LIFE HQ in Kortrijk. The pictures used for the album cover happen to be standard covers or “stock-covers” provided by the pressing plant. Like buying a photo frame and keeping the picture it came with. So this artwork may be appearing on many different releases during that era. They did this to lower the costs…
|Insert featuring the bands and lyrics|
This is a classic album that every hardcore punk aficionado should hear/know/own, it displays a huge part of the roots of the music we are all so passionate about. Hardcore and punk have evolved a lot since then, sometimes good, sometimes badly, but these songs still remain a strong base for many to look at and find inspiration in. Be it in creating music, art or any other creative outlet to vent your demons too. As the title of the albums says they dare you to FLEX YOUR HEAD.