Flipper - Sex Bomb Baby CD Review (Water Records) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Flipper - Sex Bomb Baby CD Review (Water Records)

Flipper - Sex Bomb Baby CD ReviewAfter being out of print for years, Water Records recently reissued Flipper's first four CDs. Taking a look at these discs in chronological order, Sex Bomb Baby contains the band's earliest recorded material.

Sex Bomb Baby documents the band's singles and contributions to compilations over the period 1979-82. There are a handful of song that were rerecorded for Generic Flipper but the songs are in radically different versions between the two discs. With so many bands using Flipper's sound and style as a jumping off point, Sex Bomb Baby is just as essential as Generic Flipper.

Tracks are:
1) Sex Bomb: From the "Sex Bomb" 7" (10/81)
2) Love Canal: From the "Love Canal" 7" (2/81)
3) Ha Ha Ha: From the "Love Canal" 7" (2/81)
4) Sacrifice: From the "Maximum Rocknroll Presents: Not So Quiet on the Western Front" complilation LP (8/82)
5) Falling: From the "Live at Target" compilation LP (2/24/80)
6) Ever: From the Eastern Front compilation LP (1982)
7) Get Away: From the "Get Away" 7" (12/82)
8) Earthworm: From the "SF Underground" compilation EP (11/79)
9) The Game's Got a Price: From a flexidisc in "Take It" magazine (1982)
10) The Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly: From the "Get Away" 7" (12/82)
11) Brainwash: From the "Sex Bomb" 7" (10/81)
12) Lowrider: From the "Live at Target" compilation LP (2/24/80)
13) End of the Game: From the "Live at Target" compilation LP (2/24/80)

Even though members of Flipper came out of the punk scene, it is fascinating to hear the band start off with the droning dirge of "Earthworm" on their earliest recording. In an interview with Steve DePace last year, he said "[Flipper] went against the grain. Once everything went hardcore thrash, we were grungy and slow." While there are still some punkish elements in the early recordings, you can hear the band starting to slow down (like an impending train wreck).

Try to forget the numerous times "Sex Bomb" has been covered over the last 25+ years and you can imagine the impact this single made in 1981 where the only lyrics over the entire five minute song is "She's a sex bomb, my baby yeah". When you add the 6+minute dirge "Brainwash" to the flip (where Bruce Lose repeats the lyrics are "Forget it, you wouldn't understand anyway" over a punkish riff that repeats itself over and over), Flipper was standing out from the crowd.

As Sex Bomb Baby is a compilation, it doesn't come across as a coherent body of work but this disc contains all of the classic Flipper music, wit and sarcasm. There is the audience baiting and fighting, which seemed part of all the early Flipper shows that I saw, captured in the live performance of "Ever"; there is psychotic reading of "The Old Lady Who Swallowed the Fly" and live version of the anti-Reagan anthem "Sacrifice" smolders.

This is a great disc for fans and a guidepost for bands just starting out.

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