Tag: henry rollins

MUSIC REVIEW | Rollins Band – Nice (2001)

nice-50993750f3adc

After a decade and five albums, the original Rollins Band line up had nothing new on the horizon.  The way Henry Rollins tells it, the dude at his local record store gave him a record.  It was record by that record store dude’s band Mother Superior.  Henry liked it and the band asked him to come to the studio and help them record.  That same day, Henry and the three dudes from Mother Superior had written a few songs together.  All of a sudden, a new version of Rollins Band was formed.  They would spend the next five years touring and recording some of the best music to come out under that moniker.  And while it sucks that there’s been no music from any version of Rollins Band in a decade and half, at least they went out on a bang, with Nice.


One Shot is a pretty cool song and a more than adequate opener, but Nice really kicks into gear with Up For ItRollins’ speak singing almost reaching hip hop flow, topped off with a soaring organ and soul sister backing vocals.  It’s a new dimension to the Rollins Band sound that is like nothing they’d done before, but still 100% Rollins Band. (more…)

MUSIC REVIEW | Rollins Band – Weight (1994)

Rollins - Weight

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…)

MUSIC REVIEW | William Shatner – William Shatner Has Been (2005)

Shatner
At the turn of the century, William Shatner was a 70s punch line at worst, and a cheap, novelty go to for TV and movie cameos at best. At the turn of the century, Ben Folds had ridden out the second half of the 90s with his highly successful Ben Folds Five, and released a surprisingly good solo record with Rockin’ the Suburbs. I remember when the two collaborated in 2005 to make William Shatner Has Been, but I never paid it any attention. I always assumed it was more on the Shatner, novelty side of things, and less on the Ben Folds, master pop musician side.


Then recently, I listened to an episode of Henry Rollins’ awesome podcast, Henry and Heidi, where he recounted the story of recording a song with Shatner for this album, and the friendship they’ve shared since. Henry can make almost anything entertaining, so maybe this story is all in his telling of it. But when it was done, I thought that if Shatner was half as enthusiastic about the rest of the songs on this record as he was about his Rollins team up, even if William Shatner Has Been isn’t good, it’s gonna at the very least be interesting. (more…)

MUSIC REVIEW | Black Flag – Damaged (1981)

damaged

I love punk rock. I love Henry Rollins. So why have I never taken the time to listen to Black Flag and presumably love them too? A few times a year, I’ll ask myself that question and listen to a random track or two. Then, something will distract me, and I’ll forget all about Black Flag for another month or two. At 35 minutes long, it’s a travesty that I’ve never found the time to listen to Damaged in its entirety until now.


Opening fast, loud and as in my face as I hoped a Black Flag album would, Rise Above is a great combo of disgruntled anger and positivity. Henry might be singing about being sick of the world around him and how it’s run, but he’s also singing about overcoming it and doing his bit to make the world a better place. (more…)