“In 1980 'Sex Bomb' became the new 'Smoke On The Water'. What serious Punk doesn’t know how to play 'Sex Bomb'? That is the level of influence they’ve had on my generation. They’re important. Face it and learn”. -- King Buzzo / Melvins
On 22 June 2009, a week before they release Flipper's four seminal albums, Domino are also to reissue their classic 'Sex Bomb' single which features the full length version and the original mix of the track from band's debut 'Generic' album.
It was end of the seventies, the pre-dawn of Hardcore, that strain of punk-rock that drilled its aggression into a teutonic, high-paced, martial polka of revving guitars and bellowed quasi-political screeds. A mostly-abstemious, curiously-sexless beast, its sound would become ubiquitous across the American Underground for the rest of the decade that followed.
The most interesting, fiery and essential music has always veered from the blueprint, however, or screwed that blueprint into a crumple, and then pissed on it, and then set it ablaze. And so runs the story of Flipper, and the riot-art noise they splattered across their first three albums, now re-released by Domino. Flipper had a dark humour that easily matched the black din of their grinding elliptical grooves, a crackling gift for seductive nihilism announced on the opening track of Generic, their 1981 debut album that followed two ground-breaking seven-inches on indie label Subterranean.
Generic offered up nine slices of such delirious death disco, distilling the gleeful, acrid chaos of their live shows into off-centre, elliptical grooves that veered into moments of bleak brilliance, and bowed out with an extended take of early single ‘Sex Bomb’.
The perfect companion to ‘Generic’, the 13 track compilation ‘Sex Bomb Baby!’ comprises, as Henry Rollins says “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. It is 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.”
The members of Flipper threw themselves full-pelt into the business of Being Flipper as the first half of the 1980s wore on, embarking upon hazy, chaotic, substance-abusing tours that seesawed between winning new converts and alienating dullards. The chariot that escorted them across America to these shows – a graffiti-sodden beaten-up van that also doubled as Falconi’s residence when they weren’t on tour – graced the cover of Flipper’s second album, 1984’s Gone Fishin’, as a press-out cardboard model.
Tragically, Flipper's Shatter succumbed to a fatal heroin overdose in 1987, a year after Subterranean released Public Flipper Ltd, a double album of live performances recorded across America between 1980 - 1985. The album was titled in sly response to Public Image Limited, who had seemingly purloined Generic’s iconic sleeve design for their own Album.
While Flipper’s acrid, slow-mo grind has since oozed into the music of their many followers, no other band has ever truly followed in their brilliant, bloody-minded footsteps.