I’m a huge punk rock fan. I’m a pretty big Henry Rollins fan. So I should love Black Flag. But there’s something about the hard core approach to punk that’s never grabbed me. Maybe I’m too milquetoast and suburban in my musical tastes, but I as much as I appreciate aggression in music, I don’t want it at the expense of melody. Which is why I’ve always preferred my Henry Rollins music in the form of Rollins Band. Rollins Band was loud and angry, but went beyond the ironically strict rules of punk rock, delving into hints of metal, funk, blues and straight up rock and roll. While Rollins Band kicked off pretty much immediately after Black Flag disbanded in 1986., the real breakthrough for Henry’s titular band was 1994’s Weight.
Restrained by Henry standards, Disconnected gets things started with a held back tempo and deliberate brooding. But the rock is there straight after on Fool. Rollins vocals are often half spoken, half sung, but he gets so in the pocket of the groove of Fool, that while it might not vary much in pitch, there’s still a real melody to it. And the shredding guitar solo from Chris Haskett doesn’t hurt either. (more…)