FLIPPER : “LOVE CANAL / HA HA HA” 45……
: the following piece has been “repurposed” from another piece written in 1997 by the author. That’s right, he is actually plagiarizing himself
. Please direct all complaints to our company switchboard at Jukt Micronics
stood for several things at once: militant alcoholism, audience confrontation, and the genius to recognize, après THE FALL
, the beauty of in-your-face redundancy. They played at a crawl when their many hecklers implored them to play fast; they ended shows when they couldn’t stand up any longer; and they wrote some absolutely damaged classics like “Sex Bomb”, “Ever” and “Earthworm” that are, if not inspirational, still a big hoot to listen to 24 years on. Flipper were the snotty 10th-grader who renounced his parents and was already heavily into glue and pills and other merrymaking – you know he’s a waste and that his bell has already tolled, but he’s also got this sarcastic sense of buffoonery that slays everyone around him, and who is intelligent and world-wise/world-weary beyond his years. You want to be around a person like that. Flipper
was that guy.
Their first single, 1980’s “Love Canal / Ha Ha Ha”
, took on the then-topical Niagara Falls toxics controversy. Flipper weren’t the type to provide straight “Reagan Sucks”-style commentary on such horrors; they far preferred to rub and gnash your nose in it. It has a sloooooooow
, confusing bassline that could belong only to them, but it actually rocks in a way that proves less accessible in subsequent material. “Ha Ha Ha” is a bit more maddening and is even better; the cheap sarcasm is backlit by a screech of guitar and hissing amps, and ends in an annoying, repetitive echo of the song’s title. All the snotty 10th graders I grew up with hated Flipper
, despite the fact that the band seemed to hustle their way onto every hardcore bill in San Francisco – true gluttons for punishment. I’m sure they wouldn’t have had it any other way.