Flipper | REWIGCD64 | Released: 29/06/09
Sleeve Notes by Henry Rollins
Listener Prepare Yourself: Sex Bomb Baby! comprises the singles as well as some of the best recorded moments of one of the greatest of America’s many musical gifts to the world . . . FLIPPER.
Myself and many of my peers count ourselves lucky to have seen and survived Flipper concerts either as part of the audience or as members of one of the bands sharing the bill. I fall into both categories. Once you have seen Flipper, many bands seem to be merely pop music by comparison. Some of the strongest and scariest shows in my short life have been Flipper shows.
Sitting here now, I can’t classify or define what they do. It’s not PunkRock, it’s not Rock & Roll, so let’s momentarily forget about Flipper as they relate to music because they are so much more than that.
Flipper is the unleashing of the great mortal hell that we as respirating members of the living are constantly forced to deal with. At the end of the line, there will be no greatest hits, no hugs and no free beer. There will be broken heaters, alarm clocks that fail, rent due and heaps of real life, there will be your world crumbling around you. The roar in your ears will be Flipper.
I don’t know how they did it but as to their recorded work, they were able to capture that thing of theirs, a thing that so often escapes when a band goes into a studio. For me, Flipper will always be a live experience. I saw them many times and every time was an ultimate event with large doses of humor, horror, dissonance and the end of the world intact. That being said, their records were quite endurable, part of the reason being that you were a safe distance from the band and your stereo couldn’t hurt you as much. Back in those days, many bands had a few singles that were good but quite often when they tried to make an album, they saw very quickly how much they lacked. This is not the case with Flipper.
Their first album, Generic, is the perfect companion to Sex Bomb Baby! and was one of the great albums of its time, showing to all that Flipper indeed had the real stuff, even if it seemed that the music had it in for the members. Flipper was a band that I always felt the need to see, it wasn’t really a ‘fun’ experience as much as it was necessary, like a rite of passage or a reset button - an essential part of life. It’s a band you wouldn’t want to be in as it didn’t look like staring into the abyss as they did was a great deal of fun but to be sonically assaulted by them and then allowed to crawl away afterwards was always worth it. Falconi, Lose, Shatter and DePace were Flipper so you didn’ t have to be, although you were anyway.
I am so glad that their music is back in existence. Sadly out of print for some years, we can attribute Global Warming, the Bush administration, disastrous foreign policy, wars without end and other day-to-day catastrophes to the profound lack of available Flipper material. Things will be better now that we can get all gushy and wet again.