Does anyone long for the days when Henry Rollins used to be "dangerous"? Before he was an ubiquitous talking head on VH-1? Before he displayed his questionable acting talents? Before he had a special on Comedy Central? Before he became another bland "rockstar" releasing one limp LP after another? Anyone else, or is it just me? I'm specifically talking about that time frame between the end of Black Flag and the beginning of Henrypalooza, that stretch between '86 and '89 when Henry sounded completely unglued, the band was tight, and the material solid. While I did continue to enjoy some cuts from later LP's, the Rollins Band reached a zenith with the release of 1988's Life Time LP and 1989's Do It follow up EP. (Repackaged into one disc minus the live tracks)
Rollins Band - Wreck-Age.mp3
Rollins Band - If You're Alive.mp3
Life Time is up there in my list of all time albums, if only for personal reasons. While it doesn't have the same visceral effect on me as it did when I was 16, it still stands in contrast the rest of the Rollins Band material. Later albums would be burdened by overly long songs, boring arrangements, and "musical maturity". Life Time features concise, edgy songs, piledriving production, and hellacious vocals.
Rollins Band - Move Right In.mp3
1989's Do It 12" featured 3 studio songs recorded during the Life Time sessions and the best songs off of Hot Animal Machine and Life Time recorded live in 1987. The studio songs are all covers, the best being the 7+ minute version of the VU's "Move Right In", which is a nice work out that shows off the band's chops. (the 'band' being bassist Andrew Weiss and drummer Sim Cain from Gone and guitarist Chris Haskett). Iron Butterfly on steroids, perhaps?
While I was formulating this post I happened to find this site (via datajockey)
Sad but true. Has anyone died yet from Rollins overload?