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Had Black Flag merely been the first American hardcore band, its place in history would have been assured. Informed by jazz and early heavy metal as much as punk, the band's music captured urban angst and provided a musical catharsis like little else that had come before it. But Flag and its label, SST, did more than just make music: They established that it was viable to record and release records outside of the established industry. Black Flag also proved that even the unlikeliest corners of America could be opened to punk rock with a little effort. Although the group initially split up in 1986, Black Flag is touring again with founding guitarist Greg Ginn and a new lineup that includes professional skateboarder Mike Vallely on vocals, reprising his role from the brief Flag reunion of 2003.