Fading Out

Fading Out

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Recorded in 1985 but not released until 1996, Fading Out's self-titled debut album recalls vintage Black Flag, although with a looseness (and, at times, sloppiness) that may remind the listener a bit more of the Flag's roadie band, the Nig Heist, albeit minus the abundance of pornographic subject matter. Also present in almost all the songs is a dash of Black Sabbath-styled metal, tempo changes and all. Lyrically, frontman Brett Ralph's preoccupations don't stray much from that of other similarly minded bands of the time, as song titles like "The Circus of Pain," "Losers," and "Down in the Gutter" would suggest. In "So Alone," there's even a nod to Johnny Thunders. What sets the album apart, though, is the detail in Ralph's lyrics, and even a tenderness peeking through. In the second to last song he hangs by the thread of a girl's smile -- not a usual sentiment shared in many mid-'80s punk albums.

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