Rollins Band

Yeah, more like the PHIL COLLINS BAND, if you know what I'm talkin' about.
*special introductory paragraph!
*Hot Animal Machine
*Drive By Shooting EP
*Life Time
*Do It
*Hard Volume
*Turned On
*Fast Food For Thought EP (by Wartime)
*Let There Be Rock 12" single (with The Hard-Ons)
*The End Of Silence
*End Of Silence Demos
*Hammer Of The Rok Godz
*Come In And Burn
*Come In And Burn Sessions
*Insert Band Here Live In Australia 1990
*Get Some Go Again
*Get Some Go Again Sessions
*A Clockwork Orange Stage
*A Nicer Shade Of Red
*The Only Way To Know For Sure
*Rise Above
Henry Rollins was a troubled, angst-ridden, confused, angry young man when he toured the world as lead screamy guy for Black Flag. Since that time, he's gone from an incredible punk/noise screamer to a '70s hard rock intoner, and possibly may now be finished with music. He's also muscular as all hell, so watch what you say.

Hot Animal Machine - Texas Hotel 1987.
Rating = 8

This album is actually credited to "Henry Rollins," suggesting that he either (a) considered this rhythm section to be temporary players, or (b) simply hadn't thought up the name "Rollins Band" yet. Guitarist Chris Haskett was already around though, cold kickin' it like only a bitter balding man can. The music on this one is pretty straightforward psychotic punk rock. Uptempo, fast, and catchy with a couple of avant-noise departures and a few decent covers. The uptempo, fast and catchy stuff totally kicks ass in the same sort of way that Black Flag's Loose Nut did. Pretty simple riffs, but spooky and creative enough to make ya go "Yeah!" The quadruple-shot backpunch lead-off of "Black And White," "Followed Around," "Lost And Found," and "There's A Man Outside" unfortunately isn't quite lived up to through the entire musical LP, but it's all at least fun to listen to. And pretty strange too, in places! Henry is pretty calm on this one, shouting more than screaming. Sounds like he means it, though. Beats the daylights out of anything Greg Ginn has done since the breakup. Good guitar rock! Not nearly as sludgy as the official Rollins Band stuff.

Reader Comments
hey man, you said that greg ginn hasn't done anything good since the breakup of black flag but you are DEAD WRONG. Have you ever heard the band GONE? That bitch is fifty fuckin' times heavier than the heaviest rollins band album, and i love the rollins band because they are fifty times heavier than most of the crap out there! It was greg on guitar, andrew weiss on bass and sim cain on drums, and if you think that they were good in rollins band, check them out in this one. get gone 2 but never too gone and you will see what i mean.

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Drive By Shooting EP - Texas Hotel 1988.
Rating = 8

This cute little six-song novelty deal was recorded at the same time as Hot Animal Machine, but is credited to "Henrietta Collins and the Wifebeating Childhaters." However, it's easy to understand why he might have wanted to release these tracks separately. A little too sick even for the fairly "twisted" (though not literally, as that would render the record basically unplayable) debut LP, these songs are disturbing, funny, violent and offensive. I've grown uncordial to record reviews that name nad describe individual songs (although it took me awhile to get to this point, as is obvious by some of my early reviews - Ramones, for example, in which I pretty much describe every song on every album for no good reason at all), but this is one of those rare records that just calls for such minute description. So here you go. Read the descriptions, then go buy the record.

"Drive By Shooting (Watch Out For That Pig)" is a goodtime beach song about how fun it is to shoot people from the safety of your car. "Ex-Lion Tamer" is a fantastic cover of a wonderful Wire song off of the stupendous LP Pink Flag. "Hey Henrietta" is a smashing noise-athon highlighted by a dark exchange between "Henry" and "Henrietta" (as portrayed by Henry) in which the two (one) discuss suicide, self-mutilation, raping female cops, and... umm... shooting people... again. "Can You Speak This?" I don't quite get, but it appears to be about a male-female relationship of some sort. "I Have Come To Kill You" is a parody of Queen's "We Will Rock You" dragged into the dirt by a cold unfeeling guitar hum. And "Men Are Pigs" is a solo Henry piece in which he describes the perfect way for women to get the most out of fellatio.

There! I described the songs - now YOU buy the songs! I feel kinda weird giving it an 8 since it's totally a novelty record with pretty much no new melodies at all (heck, I'd give it a 9 if "Can You Speak This?" was a little stronger!), but just trust me. Novelty records don't get much more 'transgressive' than this.

Although the psychological self-immolation of "Weird Al" Yankovic's Polka Party certainly comes close.

Reader Comments (David Ziemer)
The fact that you can't understand "Can you speak this" doesn't make it a weaker song. It is probably the strongest on the album if you bothered to actually think about it.
What the fuck was Hank thinking when he released this piece of shit. I swear I almost got fired from a public radio station for playing this record in front of the station's General Manager's kids, ages 12 and 14. All I was doing was pulling some records for my nightly show called "Drazy Knows More About Music Than 75% Of You Jaded White Collar Highbrow Fucks" and I went into the station's vast 250,000 title record library. I'm not making up the part about their record library either. So out of a quarter of a million pieces of music, what do you think the first album that the G.M.'s kids go pick out and put on the turntable? Suicidal Tendancies, that's what. Being the "if you like that, you might like this one" type of guy that I am, I ask the lads if they've heard of Black Flag. They admit that they've heard about them but know little in the ways of their output. I immediately sit one boy on each knee and explain how the Mighty Flag paved the way for bands like Suicidal Tendancies by endlessly touring and tolerating Greg Ginn's Grateful Dead tapes playing over and over in their Econoline van on their way to a show in Fargo, ND that will draw only 50 people, half of which will spit and throw urine on them, and net them only $11.13 in profit for the evening. I go on to explain how Greg Ginn decided to break up his own pioneering band in favor of another band called Gone, a power trio containing two very talented musicians and one Greg Ginn who likes to jack off on his guitar under the guise of "soloing." "But what of dear, handsome Hank?" the youngest one asks me, a tear gently streaming down the right side of his cheek. "Don't worry" I assure him, explaining that Henry has already release one fine solo album entitled "Hot Animal Machine," and that I have under my arm, his latest release called "Drive By Shooting." "Put it on, Drazy! We must hear dear Hank's latest offering!" they cry. Happily, I oblige them and put the needle on "Men Are Pigs." Their soft mouths drop as they hear Mr. Rollins urge female listeners to cut off the penises of their significant others and mail them to him. The General Manager walks in to take his kids home, hears Hank's request, shelters his children and shoots me a glance that says "In my office, first thing in the morning!" I'm toast, all because of Henry and this fucking shitass e.p. Thankfully out of print and thankfully I found a job in the real world that doesn't require me to help out with on-air fundraising every six months. Not shit sandwhich, but dick sandwhich.

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Life Time - Texas Hotel 1988.
Rating = 8

Kick! This is the first Rollins Band album "proper," with drum machine Sim Cain and bass incorrigible Andrew Weiss (Ween fan) joining the ranks and swanks. Andrew brought a hell of a lot to the Rollins Band, and the unit is suffering in '97 with him departed and all, but that's a story for another time - Labor Day '99 perchance, if I'm not busy cleaning the family Hovercar. Andrew pumps the shit out of his often distorted and always weird bassology, addin' a grub of the blues to the already cikcass punk sludge production. See, THIS is what grunge used to be. Loud noisy raw unpredictable messy speedy drunken hellfire with a guy yelling on top. Now it's Bush. Bush = Pussy Music! (name humor) Oh, but let's stay on the subject. Henry is at the top of his vocal craft on this release, screaming like a devilish ogre about frustration, loneliness and depression while the heavy music pounds pounds pounds away ahind he. There are a couple of expendable throwaways, but only a couple. Most of the album alternates between disturbingly off-kilter punk ("What Am I Doing Here?" and "If You're Alive" are just SICK, I tell ya!) and head-crushing blues rock, all played loose, loud and American. And it's produced by Henry's old bald buddy Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat and Fugazi fame! So you know it tears up the turning table with guitars guitars and hard away!

Reader Comments
I'm in a top floor apartment of a four story building on Clinton Street in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Some people call it "The Little Apple," but the people I'm with tonight are junkies and they aren't like "those" people. They are, instead, the worm eating the apple from the inside out and they leave their cars unlocked because they're nothing worth stealing. Any money made goes into a hole in their arm or into an occassional local show or a few records here and there. I'm nervous as some fourth generation German-Americans with long hair enter into the apartment and go immediately into bedrooms and close the door. I've already been into one of the bedrooms. I know what goes on in there and it has nothing to do with sleep or sex. It's the gratification that the lead singer of Blind Melon would discover and the gratification that Ian MacKaye, producer of "Life Time," would rebel against.

The soundtrack of the evening consists of rock music. Someone who lives in the apartment below asks if we've heard the new Rollins Band album. I grab my penis, because I've heard Hank's last release "Drive By Shooting" and fear someone will cut off my genitals and mail them to him. The third floor renter puts on side two and the slow build-up of "Gun In Mouth Blues" starts to wake even the noddiest of junkies. Hank screams like no man I've ever heard towards the end of the track, prompting me to think "Life Time" may well bring a resurgence in primal scream therapy not seen since Lennon screamed "Daddy come home!!" back in '71. Rollins doesn't scream about mom and dad, but about how the "bossman's a bastard" and how your "boyfriend's a motherfucker."

The rest of the album is good too, as I start to forgive Hank for almost getting me fired for "Men Are Pigs" and start to believe that maybe there is life after Black Flag. The next morning, I'm awaken by a fallen empty beer can, in a chair next to a huge fishtank. "How can junkies afford such expensive aquatic life?" I wonder. I look around and see that a few of the sobering dwellers are stirring. It's time to leave. I stop by Let It Be records on the way out of town and pick up "Life Time" for my own collection. It's been a good weekend and many of the people I've met I'll never see again. I'll have "Life Time" to place my memories to music and it brings me back to that evening every time I play it: the junkies, the Germans, the fishtank, and the fact that the door to the apartment was left wide open the entire evening. I learned a few lessions that night: there's really nothing to steal in an apartment with an open door and that Hank has never matched this release since. It remains his best solo effort to date.
I love the title "Gun in Mouth Blues". The rest of this album is good too. I didnt hear him till Weight, shortly before I turned 15, but Rollins is among the first heavy music I got into, along with Metallica, Pantera, Slayer and Danzig and all that mainstream stuff that got me tagged "that Liar guy" at school because of my love of "Liar" when a few months earlier I wasnt known for bein into much music at all. Imagine my surprise at finding Rollins pre-Weight stuff was better. Burned Beyond Recognition, What Am I Doing Here, Wreckage and a bunch of others kick ass too, though I havent listened to it much in a while. Rollins is good people though. End of Silence is a great album too, though i dont know if i'll get around to a comment on that. Find out by scrolling down.

Also I love the first 4/5 Rollins Band albums (if ya count Hot Animal Machine as Rollins Band) and the first 4 Danzigs, but have never gotten into much Misfits or Black Flag. No one really cares much about stuff like that anymore, since so much "rock" sucks nowadays both mainstream and underground that I think you can be glad for me I was at least listening to some Rollins or Danzig at 14/15. What does a 15 year old have on MTV today? Nickelback maybe? Staind? Linkin whatever... yeah, me neither. I'd hate to be a 15 year old who doesnt know much about music in 2008 and only has MTV and the local "modern rock" station as opposed to in 93/94.

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Do It - Texas Hotel 1988.
Rating = 8

Don't think about it! BUY IT! BUY IT!!!! Yes, it seems a tad early in Rollins' solo career for him to be putting out a live album, but I guess he wanted to show the world what his new band could do with his old songs. Side one features three covers played very well, especially "Move Right In," a Lew Read composition from VU's Another View outtakes compilation (Rollins also covered this song on Hot Animal Machine, but the new version's a lot tougher). Side two is the live stuff. Pre-megasensation Rollins, when he was lucky to have a hundred people in the house. The band plays hard, and Henny screams a new level of rockitude into some cool old Animal Machine numbers. This was the first Rollins Band album I heard, so I'm fairly partial to it. Perhaps it's not 'essential,' but either is the polio vaccine and I don't hear you complaining about that. Prick.

That's what they do to your arm to give you the polio vaccine.

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* Hard Volume - Texas Hotel 1989. *
Rating = 10

This may seem an odd choice for the best album of Rollins' solo career, but something about it really appeals to me. And what's that "something"? Everything! The music is bluesy but punky, hypnotic but depressing, psychotic but loud!!!! And Henry sounds like he's gone completely over the edge, shredding his lungs to bits every step of the way before completing the album with a blast of wounded animal shrieking that makes G.G. Allin look like Mariah Carey, and Iggy Pop look like the Blah Blah Blah album by Iggy Pop.

The music's fairly similar to the noisy grunge crud on Life Time, but more desperate and hopeless (aside from the erotic lead-off sextrack "Hard," which likely references a cock or penis) This was back when the Rollins Band were still into aggressive musicmaking rather than bland funk metal or '70s jive turkey boogie. Messy, poorly recorded, scuzzy and inspired! Headbang bingo! Drink and punch people! It's not punk rock per se, but neither was Black Flag after the first album. It's rather a combination of different types of rock and blues music cycled through the minds of four bitter urbanites. Without Henry, it would be merely a 'good' album. But Mr. Muscles gives the performance of his career, screaming his lungs out of his body like a dying man tied to a railroad track in the middle of the desert. Clap twice for pain!

And crap nice for rain!!!! Last night, I dreamt that I really had to poop, and then I woke up and it was just a dream, but I DID really have to poop! So I ran to use the bathroom, but it was behind about fifteen different swingy doors, all of which attempted to charge me a quarter to use the facilities. So I slid under each of them, only to run across a guy who had just suffered a heart attack. So the paramedics were all around and I still had to poop! Finally, I woke up harder and realized that, not only had I not been awake before, but I didn't even have to poop!

I feel very good having shared that with you. Have a good day!

Reader Comments (Daniel Lawrence)
I was pretty turned off to Rollins band after The End of Silence. I really tried to give it a chance, but the mixture of Rollins's voice just talking tough along with some good music was pretty awful. However, the other day I was in a record store and I saw Hard Volume used for only 9 bucks. I remembered how Mark gave this one the ten and mentioned how Henry actually screams in this one. I decided to give Henry another chance and I'm glad I did. This record rules! It didn't get me at first, but after I listened to the last track, which is 32 minutes long, I was blown away! That last live jam is just absolutely AMAZING. I'm surprised Mark never mentioned how cool it is when, in that song, Henry yells out "bass!" and Andrew lets loose the funk on his bass good enough to rival anything I've ever heard Les Claypool play. Even though some of that jam is obviously planned, so much of it is just free and you don't know where it's going to go. You can tell how tight they were as a unit back then. I can imagine how closely they would have watched each other as they played, if I had ever got to see them. The other part in that jam that rules is when Henry goes "please...please.....touch" and he kind of whispers it but with force and the bass line in the back is so damn neat; complemented by the cool tone Chris Haskett has going on in his guitar. What else do I like about it? The first track just simply rocks. "What Have I Got" is bluesy, angry, depressing and all those awesome things. "I feel like this" is so punkish, rocking and pissed off! The image I get in my mind when I listen to "Inside Out" is like a big, angry, sludgy monster devouring everything slowly in its path. The other songs are much of the same kind of feel. Man did they have a raw tone. Wonderful work from all of them. Henry sounds completely out of his mind! I've never heard someone sound so genuinely insane on a recording! And for once, at least for me, Henry's lyrics and vocals fit it all perfectly to make this record a well deserved 10.
I want you to know that your wrong mark, Henry rolling does not deliver as well as you say on hard volume. as much as I love most of it, the music on here is a tad derivative (a lot of it sounds like a third rate AC/DC rip off) and his vocals can get really grating, but there is no denying one thing "love song" is one of the best pieces of tormented sexuality ever worthy of 7 just for that song alone.
Right again, Prindle!
This is the only Rollins Band CD I've heard which really stays true to what most people think Henry Rollins is all about (see Damaged for clarification). This was also, luckily, the first one I ever bought, after hearing it as the music on the PA prior to a Sonic Youth concert at the Cat's Cradle (Chapel Hill) in 1991. It was truly disturbing, and I actually hated it at the time... but sometimes you hate something so much, it intrigues you in a way that draws you back to it... like an aching tooth (remember that Bill Hicks bit..."owww.... owwww....oh! 'Cops' is on...owwww...."). Especially that "Planet Joe (Ugly)" song. That is the epitome of pain. A year later, I got the "End of Silence" CD, which I also love, but only because I was so glad that Rollins was getting some mainstream exposure. After that, the only Rollins I listen to is his spoken word stuff.

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Turned On - Touch And Go 1990.
Rating = 8

Double live album full of good lil' songs. Don't buy the CD because it's all programmed as one track, which seems like it would get really irritating after a while. The vinyl double-album on the other hand cooks Thanksgiving dinner with lots of classic turkeys, some new stuffing (a few tunes of which would wind up on The End Of Silence), and lots of goodtime noisy deviled eggs.

And some shitty green beans with those crunchy brown things in them (a poem).

So remember - if you're 'all about' "The Dietmar Song," there's no better place to go than that Stereolab side project Turned On! Sadly, this was to be the last of the Rollins Band's excursions into muddy noise rock. They slicked up in time for the next album. Brap.

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Fast Food For Thought EP (by Wartime) - Chrysalis 1990.
Rating = 4

Wartime was a short-lived funk duo comprised of Henry Rollins and his then-bassist Andrew Weiss. It's stupid and bad, featuring three originals with nearly identical bass lines and awful "rap"-style vocals, as well as a Grateful Dead cover. "The Whole Truth" is so funny it's bad, and "Right To Life" has a Flipper lyrical reference, but don't buy it! DON'T BUY IT!!!!!


Reader Comments (Chris Hewitt)
You are way off the mark with your dismissal of Wartime. I bought that ep when it came out and I STILL love it. It's funky, it's heavy and it's definitely unique. Weiss' bass playing is of course the primary attraction, but the sampling is cool throughout, and Henry is. well, Henry is Henry. But seriously, the music on this CD is excellent and there's nothing like that cover of Franklin's tower to just horrify your local deadheads.

In short, there is much that is praiseworthy about this strange little major label release. More people should know about it.


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Let There Be Rock 12" (with The Hard-Ons) - Whatever 1990
Rating = 9

When God was making love to the stars and the Goddess, he had no idea that Henry Rollins would be the result, but being Catholic, He had no choice but to not mutilate the fetus and remove it piece by piece from the stars and the Goddess's hair eclair. On this monstrous big rock two-song single, Mr. Rollins returns the favor by teaming up with Australian punk rock band The Bon-Ers to cover one of the ultimate Godlike all-time AC/DC classics. Perhaps THE quintessential moment in the Young brothers' proud canon of loud, proud, stripped-down-and-turned-up three-chord anthems, this track was responsible for launching the air guitar careers of billions of youths across the world, and clearly Henry Rollins was no exception! Unfortunately, this track ("Boogie Man" from the Ballbreaker LP) proved a bit too difficult for the Hard-Ons to wrap their skills around, so they did "Let There Be Rock" instead.

I've never heard a standalone release by The Wood-Ies, but they sure do whip a sashalash on this single. The guitar tones are even heavier and meaner than in the AC/DC original, with an added metallic chug-chug-chug for maximum meanness. It's easy to ruin a perfect song, but these guys not only match the original, but make it sound even tougher! Certainly Henry's no Bon Scott, but he doesn't sound anymore like a date-raping bodybuilder than usual - and the Stiff-Peckers' guitarist NAILS all of Angus's solos (the melodic parts anyway). I'd totally give it two thumbs up if not for my harrowing recent vacation in Sierra Leone!

Side B may be an original. If so, it's a '70s-style Black Oak Arkansas-appreciating funk/grunge/rock grind pound verse accompanied by a lovely, vulnerable non-Rollins chorus vocal. If not, it's reggae. But played on violins.

Ohhhh I'm getting a brainstorm!!!!

Oh no! Three different spots in my brain are showing temperature decreases of 13 degrees and Dick Cheney keeps telling Dennis Quaid to blow it out his ass! This brainstorm is gonna suck HORSE KNOBS!

That reminded me of something interesting. My wife, a highly-paid pharmaceutical advertising copywriter, was recently put on an account having to do with a breast cancer drug. Although she didn't ask for suggestions, I gave her one that's so goddamned good, I already built myself a fancy desk to hold my upcoming Clio. I'll share it with you, but don't steal it because I'll murder you to death. See, my feeling is that the threat of "breast cancer" has been overplayed in the media for so many years that women have just learned to ignore it. To raise the stakes and re-establish the crucialness of the issue, I proposed that she and her drug company pitch the new medication as one that combats "Knocker Leprosy." No no, stay with me! You see, if a

Reader Comments (Luke Porter)
Mate - H-ons rock.... 3 piece band been around for a long time and worth picking up a best of if you find it around - very worthy. And did you ever see the filmclip for the LTBRock single? Great stuff... not as good as the original but yeah...

All I'm saying is if you see a H-ON, purchase it, take it home, and use it wisely, then let the good people know...

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The End Of Silence - Imago 1992.
Rating = 8

Slick and produced, givin' 'em that sharp Soundgarden sheen of heavy grunge rockin'. Must have bigger amps or something, too. And the shorter songs have a lot more of a classic rock sound to them than before (especially "Tearing," which is darn near a dead ringer for Foreigner's "Double Vision"). But the neuroses are still in full force in all of the album's many "epics," which trudge along sparklingly at song lengths ranging from 7:22 to 8:03 to 8:50 to 9:30 to 11:46. And it works! These songs are so godfucking long and depressing that the listener really does start to feel like Homer after a while. When will it end??? When will this torturous Iliad end???


You wouldn't think that strong production would allow this sort of mindbludgeoning spiritual pain to creep through, but it does. It sorta even helps, what with all the crystal-loud distorted heavyass chords rippin' holes in your mind and speakers. My only gripe is that ol' Hen is leaving the shrieking behind to concentrate on a less powerful barking delivery. Guess it hurts the tonsils less.

Oh! One other thing - the single from this album, "Low Self Opinion," is not indicative of the rest of the album. Most of it isn't bad funk-metal like that.

Reader Comments (The Chameleon)
Yeah I just listened a lot of this album today and it was pretty cool. "Low Self Opinion" isn't that bad but it doesn't much sound like the other tracks. I really like the bass lines in this album. Really low, bluesy, hard stuff. Not really so really mean and tough guy loner stuff. It sounds really cool...unlike anything I've heard...heavy, slow, bluesy, has it all.. I just wish Henry would scream more and tear his throat up more too. If you don't like the music just buy it for the back cover with Henry live looking really crazy and cool...ahh I love that guy..and know it's pretty funny how you called him a dick..but I'd watch it..the guy isn't just some guy that wants to be a tough guy..he's really mean..really angry..just listen to his spoken word "Black Coffee Blues"...whoa...
End of Silence is an excellent record. The best one they put out in my opinion. I bet the lineup was awsome live. Truly a classic.

One more thing. At least ole' Hank stepped up to the plate and took a swing, instead of becoming a whinny little critic. (Nat Edmands)
I was there for the E.O.S. lineup at the old Channel in Boston in late 1992. I had just discovered Rollins and this was an indescribable experience. Henry was still raw from the loss of his friend, Joe Cole, and he belted, no, screamed, no, SHRIEKED a song called "Hole in the Back of My Mind". This show was moving, man. Loud and oh, so hard. I saw some kid get pummelled for bumping into a biker's chick, too.

All in all the Rollins Band ruled the night and jumpstarted me. I think it was a complete joke that the Stone Temple Pilots opened. (The Chameleon)
Hey this is The Chameleon again. I originally wrote my first End of Silence over 2 years ago. Well since then folks a lot has happened and one of those things was I finally got around to purchasing this album instead of the listen I had of it a long time ago. I've listened to it and my opinion of it has really dropped. The only thing and I mean the only thing that really ruins this record for me seems to be Rollins' voice. Just like Rush's Hemispheres; great music but awful voice. Rollins doesn't really sing he kind of just talks loud and tough. I can't get past that. When the bass lines are so groovy and intro is just so cool it hurts when Rollins opens his mouth and ruins it all. Anyway the cool thing is Andrew Weiss is wearing a Ween t-shirt in the band photo. And damnit I want that shirt. Andrew Weiss produced and played on many a Ween albums and is quite a good bassist with a great ear. Forget this album go listen to Ween. The Mollusk rules!!

A good album, one of my favorites in college. The tour for this album was noteworthy because a little known band called Tool opened the show for them. The best 15 bucks i've ever spent, and the live sound quality was far and away the best I have heard at any rock show. Kudos to Theo, the fifth member of the band. (Karma J. Mustafa)
God, I can't believe you marked this so high! It's probably a totally null and void point by now, as all of us have either forgotten about Rollins or realised that he's fast become a loser, but this album is the beginning of the down slope, not the top of the hill. I can't even remember a song of this album. LSO, right? How did that do again? I don't care anyway. Hard Volume had so much raw energy, but this, this is totally lifeless. It's like, you take a dick, and take away the veins and the semen and, just for arguments sake, the seminal fluid itself also, and what do you have? Rollins, from this stage onwards.

Can I just add I haven't slept in three days. Non-drug related. Are you proud of me? I'm proud of you.
great album!!! i liked every song except "Grip." it's too boring. i mean come on. and it just doesn't go along with the album at all. "Low Self Opinion" is a good song, but it was probably made that way. it was made to be a single. anyway everything else on the album rules. 8/10 is my rating. (Philip Prescott)
This album completely comprised my life when I was a heart-broken 15 year old. My father walked in on me while I was on the floor screaming along with the vocals in my room. Ween is the greatest band ever, yo. (Eric D.)
I like Lifetime, Hard Volume and this one all about the same... this is a pretty solid release, with some neat jammy numbers on the second half, such as the appropriately titled "Blues Jam" and "Obscene." While lots of folks stopped liking Rollins' music after this one, I still like a lot of the stuff on Weight and Come In and Burn too.

Life time - 8
Hard Volume - 9
End of Silence - 9
Weight - 7
Come In and Burn - 6
Well, i got original brazilian vynil pressing and thought "this record got a lot of energy, but the pressing is shitty. Got get the import cd." Got the import cd and discovered that the sound, well. it's shitty. The band seems far away on the field, playing for someone else but you. And that sucks. At the time I didn't know this was the first of a long string of progressively lousy albums by henry. The band plays fine, henry is not that bad, but that fucked production (not a surprise Andrew got the boot after this) and an excess of re-recording of old songs (done better before) turn this in one of those overhyped major label debuts by a great band that mark the start of their downfall. If you wanna see Rollins best, go for Lifetime or hard Volume. But at last it made me aware of Rollins Band existence, what is a fine consolation prize.

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End Of Silence Demos - 2.13.61 2004
Rating = 7

Dear Billy, You can eat a fat fuckin cock because End Of Silence Demos is a good goddamned album. And it's not like your fuckin mother could have bought it for you at the Record Bar (not that she'd have time between all the pricks she rides everyday, the two-timing whore); my elves had to order it off Rollins' web site! Special! For YOU! But do you appreciate it? Shit no. "Oh Santa. I want a pony." What are you, a fuckin girl? Boys don't have pussies to rub up and down on horses' backs; get a sock or something, fagit.

Maybe a bit of background will help you to better appreciate the CD, so you don't end up on my naughty list and get a bunch of switches in your stocking next year. Granted, you could use those for some S&M fun with the little girls in the neighborhood, but knowing YOU, you'd probably just cry and lament your lack of fagity bike. End Of Silence Demos is an early version of the The End Of Silence album in its entirety, along with one extra song. Most of these early versions are pretty similar to the final versions, but the whole CD is mixed much louder - great for fans of loud guitar rock! The biggest difference is in song length - this disc's versions are generally shorter: "Grip" and "What Do You Do" by one minute each, "Almost Real" by two minutes, "Blues Jam" by three minutes, "Just Like You" by three and a half minutes, and "Obscene" by a full FIVE minutes! Long enough to take a dump!

Also, two of these early tracks are noticably weaker than the final versions: "Blues Jam" is only in its very rudimentary stages here, and is too fast and messy to be very effective; and "Just Like You" is also too fast, rendering the creepy guitar line much less slithery. Otherwise, no complaints from this end! Of interest to collectors is the interesting take on "Almost Real," which includes a rare sax solo and finds the recurring 'creepy crawly' guitar line performed at regular (faster) speed with a top chord that keeps sliding sickily and tunelessly upwards with each repetition (rather than staying on the same sick, wrong chord as in the final version). Not necessarily better than the final, but not worse either - just different!

Perhaps most excitingly of all, at least for people who don't have their nutsac stuck in their ear like you do, is the seldom-performed, long-lost composition "Human," probably the only Rollins Band song that can be called 'emo.' Seriously! The uptempo 4/4 beat, dramatic descending chord changes, and ringing, trebly guitar tone are so shittin' emoey, you almost expect Guy Picciotti's voice to pop out of your speakers! It doesn't though. Still, what a nice song! If you ask me, it should have been left on the final release as a pretty counterpoint to the ugliness of "Obscene" and "What Do You Do." But maybe they thought it sounded too traditional or simplistic. Who knows?

In closing, let me suggest that you set the CD aside and give it another listen if/when you ever become less of a pussy. I should have known a 4-year-old wouldn't be able to appreciate the genius that is Rollins.

With much disgust,
Santa Claus

P.S. Rudolph says "Fuck you!"

Reader Comments
Right on santa! Rollins representin' for the straight up elf pimp hustlers all over the world.

The version of 'Almost Real' is great. As you say the versions arn't really better, but when you've sessioned this album like I have, its cool to hear them done a bit differently.

Not a big fan of 'Animal' though. Doesn't really do it for me.

I had a thought when I was listening to 'end of silence' walking down the street the other day actually. I'd forgotten how oppressive a record this is and I got to 'Almost Real' which just kills! So I was listening and then this thought pops into my head- "imagine if the 'beasty boys' covered it!" for some reason the thought just seems to fit so well for me. That whole three-way-vocal-thing, it'd be a cracker:

"from the" (MCA)
"wreckage of" (mike D)
"HUMILIATION" (all three)
"I got my" (Ad Rock)
"SELF RESPECT" (all three)

Obviously you can play around with the interplay, but my god that an untapped gold-mine right there!

...Completely ruins the emotional impact of the song though.
I actually prefer the demo version to the original album. The songs are slightly faster, and overall it feels more fresh and spontaneous - I think they overworked the songs a bit before the album was released. I could never get into "The end of silence" completely, but it wasn't until I heard this demo version that I understood why... (Mark)
Rollins' website gives you a very good live 2nd disc with this demo. Saw Rollins Band absolutely demolish RHCP in Birmingham (UK) around this time. It's this strong material that did it.

9/10 from me.

Add your thoughts?

Hammer Of The Rok Godz - Imago 1992
Rating = 3

Intended exclusively for distribution to radio stations and other media agencies as a promotional device for the Rollins Band's major-label debut BECAUSE THEY'RE IDIOTS AND THINK IF THEY SEND A PIECE OF SHIT AROUND THEN EVERYONE WILL GIVE THEM A MILLION DOLLARS, The End of Silence -- which is quite easily one of the most caustic, uncompromising, and brilliant albums recorded in the 1990s IF YOU'RE AN ASSHOLE WHO'S NEVER HEARD AN ALBUM IN YOUR LIFE -- enough copies of this disc found their way into the consumer underground, and thus a cult item was born. Hammer is a disc prized for its scarcity, as well as the five previously unreleased tracks contained within, two of which are brief Rollins spoken word pieces ONE OF WHICH YOU CAN FIND ANYFUCKINGWHERE BECAUSE HE'S PUT IT ON LIKE FIVE BILLION ALBUMS.. Hammer begins with two tracks culled from a 1990 radio performance at JJJ studios in Sydney, Australia, where many notables have cut tape, including Radio Birdman, whose own JJJ studio material is highly sought after AND THIS HAS NOTHING AT FUCKING ALL TO DO WITH THE ROLLINS BAND. Both of those tracks, "Earache My Eye" and "Do It," ARE COVER TRACKS AND NOT VERY GOOD ONES, BUT surfaced years later on the Live in Australia album, and they are of excellent quality IF YOUR EARS ARE FILLED WITH FIFTY-FIVE GALLONS OF URINE AND DIARRHEA. Track three is perhaps the most unique AND GODAWFUL, and finds the first Rollins Band incarnation jamming A BORING SHITTY PIECE OF FUCKING FUCKITY live onstage with the Butthole Surfers, working up a TERRIBLE bass-driven assault further shaped by Rollins howling and Gibby Haynes' contorted mega-phone chatter INTO AN ELEVEN-MINUTE PIECE OF HORSE DUNG. Andrew Weiss' bass playing throughout is absolutely PREDICTABLE, NOT mesmerizing. Prior to the concluding spoken tracks, which seem to fill up disc space more than illuminate Rollins' worldview, is a lengthy studio version -- presumably an End of Silence session track -- of the Suicide standard, "Ghost Rider," BUT PLAYED REALLY GODDAMNED SLOW AND 'FUNKY' LIKE AN ASSHOLE SHIT BAND WOULD PLAY IT, AND NOT AT ALL LIKE THE VERSION ON HENRY ROLLINS' HOT ANIMAL MACHINE, WHICH IS suitably massive, a slow, heavyweight, uphill crawl. Not an easy disc to locate, but ALSO NOT AT ALL worth it BECAUSE IT'S A WORTHLESS UNLISTENABLE PIECE OF AIDS.. ~ Patrick "FUCKING TARD" Kennedy, BAll-SUCKING Music Guide OF PECKERS.

"Why don't you cheer up?" "Why don't you FUCK yourself?" That is by far the best part of this hideous, godmiserable CD. Okay, the Cheech & Chong cover is fine too But everything else is tedious, wank-offy, sluggish, dull and embarrassing. DO NOT PAY A LOT FOR THIS MUFFLER.

Also, since I'm drunk on December 31st, 2008, I think it'd be great to post a DRUNKEN list of DRUNKEN resolutions, made while DRUNK. Hang on one sec while I get even drunker so it'll rule.

ok im redy

1. Throw darts at a car and pass out.
2. Lose all pounds.
3. Buy a motorcycle, throw it up in a tree, then call the firemen and say "My cat's stuck in a tree. With his motorcycle."
4. Go on Fox News and take all my penises off.
5. Rreview every alum by Turd McGee.
6. Start a TV show called "Wbekvodktlgblfhehsslthrghnd Loves Chachi."
7. Do a little funny dance that ends with me going "Whe."
8. HAY! A THING! Also, piss.
9. Love my doggy Henry because he's the best doggy in the world and FUCK YOU if you think you have a better doggy.
10. Murder the world, bunch of pricks.
11. Learn to tell the difference between psychopaths and normal people. Can you? Think about i!

Reader Comments

I found this in a used shop back when the album was current, so I grabbed it. It's nice to have as an appendix to the album, but I don't listen to it much. I like having another version of "Earache My Eye" in my collection, and the spoken word bit about breaking up with a girl (complete with Dio imitation, also done on his Live From the Box video release, though this version is different and possibly better) is great, but the rest can just sit and collect dust as far as I care. At least everyone thinks I'm cool now because I own a rare CD with an onstage jam with the Butthole Surfers. There is that.

I also fail to see how this could function as a promotional item, as it has little to do with the album it's promoting, and doesn't really paint an accurate picture of the band (all cover versions and spoken word material?). Not bad, but as Mark said, don't pay a lot for this.

I know you. You always placed your shoes in the dryer. The world inside your head was not theirs. Yours had more gas stations. Solitude becomes your best friend, and cranberry sauce becomes your favorite condiment. Yeah, I think I know you.

Add your thoughts?

Weight - Imago 1994.
Rating = 7

Way back in 1998 or so, I reviewed this album and gave it a 6 for the reasons outlined in the following (shitty) review. As of March 2006, I have raised its grade to a 7. To see why, please scroll down a bit to my Weighting review. Thanks!

Andrew Weiss departed before the recording of this one, and though I'd love to be able to say that nothing changed, I can't. Whether or not Andrew's departure was to blame, this album marks a very irritating departure from the nuts-to-the-wall pain rock we've come to associate with the Rollins Band, and a lukewarm introduction to (ahem, adjusting my tie) FUNK metal of some sort. Of some sort? Of a BORING sort. Dippy little stupid riffs with Henry talking over them. You've heard that "Liar" piece of crap, right? Well, it's not alone in sucking shit out of the gloryhole of American Heritage. Luckily, at least one half of the record is still filled to bustin 'g' with creative and disturbing constructions like "Disconnect" and "others."

I'm not sure why the Rollins Band took such a stylistic turn at this point, but I have a feeling that these guys, in addition to liking a lot of the same music I like (The Fall, Flipper, Black Sabbath) also have a fondness for some stuff that I just can't get into (Thin Lizzy, Black Oak Arkansas). You can't make somebody else's band play what you want them to though, so I'll just say this - If you like "Liar," disregard my 6, because you'll love this slightly above average album.

Reader Comments
Wow. You are way too hard on this album, in my opinion. "Vol. 4" is one of the heaviest songs ever. And the best part is at the end when he says "now, I just sit around and wait to He did." That's a pretty powerful statement to be making. "icon" and "alien blueprint" are also fast and heavy. For the most part, I enjoy this album alot, besides the three shitty songs, "Tired", "Wrong Man" and "Civilized". Alot of people think this is Rollins' best work.
TERRIBLE stuff. ugh, I give it a 4. Henry's spoken poetry crap over the funky metal riffs is lame. Cheer up Henry! The band is tight, and the music is well played, but here they kinda sound like background music for Henry Rollins' anger and agony. And the actual songs and melodies are dull and monotonous. "Liar" sucks the worst of all, but have you seen the video?? OHH my, when I saw it, I laughed until I was's SO bad!! Not that I have anything against Henry Rollins, and I really don't feel like getting my ass kicked, but this album really doesn't do shit for me. I love Black Flag stuff like first 4 years, damaged, etc...., but anyway this was the first Rollins Band album I'd ever heard and it really confused the hell out of me, especially since I tried real hard to actually enjoy it. "Tired" is laughably insipid, and "Shine" is a really repetitive, preachy, and....let's see what's the word I'm looking for....oh right....DUMB song. all you got is lifetime, yeah!!....I dunno about these guys.

Add your thoughts?

Weighting - 2.3.61 2004
Rating = 6

Holy Schnit! I FINALLY understand why they wrote such a horrible chorus for "Liar"! Seriously, ever since that song came out, I've enjoyed the jazzy verse licks and then the chorus would come along, stink up the entire world with its godawful dumbass two-chord crapshoot and I've wondered, "How did this happen? Why on Earth would they have written such a lame chorus?" But now I GET it! And quite frankly, you probably 'got it' years ago and just didn't tell me because you're an asshole. The reason the chorus sounds like that - huge loud chords that aren't menacing or rockin gat all - is because the guitars are playing "Liar liar, Pants on Fire!" They're supposed to sound hokey and childish! Why did nobody ever report this fact to me before? Now I'll never again be able to hear the song without singing, "Liar, liar! Pants on fire!" which is most likely exactly what they've wanted me to do all along, but I'm just too slow in the uptake department to have realized it until over a decade after the song came out. DOOOOYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Weight was quite a departure from the style established on the Rollins Band's previous releases. Where the earlier releases stretched sludgy depression anthems out to interminable lengths in order that your face be bashed in with misery, Weight compacted them into easily digestable chunks of vinyl that you could eat and crap out your ass. Not just that, but where The End Of Silence had merely flirty fished with funk metal, Weight warmly embraced the genre in all its stupid shittiness. Luckily, Misters (not Messers because in photos they always look tidy) Cain, Gibbs and Haskett are more intelligent than your average funk metallers and were able to spice up the record with intriguing "licks" (guitar lines), "riffs" (licks) and dark approaches to the classic '70s hard rock sound. It's not quite as consistent as their earlier records (the white funkers "Fool" and "Civilized" might still be the least likable songs the band has ever recorded), but more than half of the record is comprised of fantastically hooky, chuggy and sick hard rock riffagery -- and in retrospect I guess "Liar" isn't quite as awful as it seemed at the time.

It still sucks though (just FYI).

Weighting, on the other hand, features four lengthy pain anthem collaborations with avant-garde saxophonist Charles Gayle (three of which are as brainsmashing and heart-ripping as anything the Rollins Band has ever released), five live versions of Weight tracks (only three of which are among that album's best tracks - and only two of which are played worth a darning needle!), and three non-LP tracks previously found on the Woodstock '94 compilation and the soundtracks to Tales From The Crypt: Demon Knight and Johnny Mnemonic (none of which quite 'do it,' if I may quote the Pink Fairies for a moment). So that's 12 songs, but only 5 good ones. These are numbers you may have seen in other periodicals over the years, but in this context they constitute an opinion. Don't be afraid of them! That reminds me of a classic joke though:

Why was 6 afraid of 7?
Because 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19! (Because seven ate nine, then he left in wealth - her tea - and Fort Eeen fit the sick steed's heaven. Teen ate teen nightie - nnnnn!)

This CD is very loud. Its clear highlights are "Miles Jam #2," "Plague #3," and "Night Sweat," three Charles Gayle jams that showcase Melvin Gibbs' purrfectly whiskerful talent for coming up with bass lines that are as twisted and mesmerizing (if not more so) as anything Andrew Weiss ever came up with. He would further demonstrate this talent on Come In And Burn , but that's a discussion for another time (tomorrow, when I review Come In And Burn Sessions). Rollins accompanies these creepy, repetitive epics with an intense spoken word delivery that, more than anything he's done since Hard Volume, sounds like he REALLY, REALLY MEANS IT. I can't believe Henry waited so long to release these three slammers! They're oresome! (wells)!

The fourth jam (inscrutably entitled "Jam #1) never really goes anywhere though, regardless of "Melvin The Pelvin" coming up with about 50 different bass lines (as "Chris Haskett The Piss Basket" repeats the same exact guitar riff over and over and over again for nigh on 12 minutes). Similarly, the three non-LP soundtrack/compilation tracks are just kinda lumpy funk metal with some of the most amateurish and overloud vocals Henry has ever allowed to see the light of day film starring Michael J. Fox and Joan Jett. Brush your breath with Dentyne!

Sorry about that. I've begun selling ad space on my site. Trix has raspberry red, lemon yellow, orange orange - whoo! Don't worry though. I'm not going to clutter up the site with banners or pop-ups like so many other sites do. Volkswagen does it - again! In fact, you probably won't notice any change at all. So carry on!

There's only one - only one Caprisun. It's great tasting fun when you punch open one.

Seneca - the first frozen apple juice with enriched Vitamin C. Rich and tasty Seneca. Something something eee.

Studio Studio - Studio line from Loreal.

Lite-Brite, making pictures with light.

Milk Duds, when you want the fun to last. Milk Duds, other candies go too fast. Milk Duds, so many things that you can do. Milk Duds, while you chew and chew and chew.

I love those itsy bitsy teenie weenie cans of Van Camp's Beenie Weenies. Hot dogs and beans fixed my favorite way. My Mom says Beenie Weenies is nutritious. That's okay, it's still delicious. For lunch or snacks, we eat some each day.

Hello muddah, hello fuddah. Greetings from Camp Hiawatha. I don't even remember what product this is for.

Every last one of these comments expresses my sincere opinion about the Weighting CD by Pink Floyd. In the words of legendary funnyman Nathaniel Hale, "I regret that I have but one wife to give for my country. So take her - please!"

Also, I think Weighting is a play-on-words for "Waiting," though I fail to see any reason for such a play-on-words.

Add your thoughts?

Come In And Burn - Dreamworks 1997.
Rating = 7

I originally gave this album a 4 out of 10, but that was way back in 1998 or so. As of March 2006, I have raised its grade to an extremely low 7. Not quite as good as Weight, but very close! The original "4" review follows. For my updated "7" review, please see the Come In And Burn Sessions review -- even further below!

Surely even a funk metal fan would have to admit that the last seven songs of this CD are very nearly interchangeable. And boring! So very boring! The riffs are lifeless, Henry just SAYS everything, and the drum lines stay a little too samey for comfort, to reference the old Ted Knight show Too Samey For Comfort. Four of the first five songs are excellent, but that sort of only serves to remind us of what innovative rockers the Rollins Gang used to be. What happened? Did they just run out of ideas? Or was Andrew ALWAYS the only one keeping them from embracing generica? Who's to say? Maybe the next one will be better (editors' note nine years later: it was, but not by much). You never know. But how disappointing. The Rollins Band used to be one of the most maniacal and powerful rock and roll bands alive. Now they're about as interesting as the last couple of Van Halen albums.

This is just me talking, though. If you feel differently, please let me know. We all have different tastes, you see. For example, I don't enjoy guzzling Heath Ledger's skin bottle, but half of America self-pleasures to that very image every night.

Which makes it all the more unfortunate that the image of me guzzling Heath Ledger's skin bottle has made its way to half of America.

Reader Comments

jgwilson@DELTA.IS.TCU.EDU (Jeff Wilson)
i just have to say that i cant even stand listening to one of this guy's songs, much less and entire album......which album was that dumb song STARVE on? that was the gayest song i have ever heard. he records the same sounding music on every album he does. How boring......i just have to say that this guy needs to retire, get laid every once in a while, and quit ragging on other bands.. who died and made this guy top critic?? rollins just fucking sucks.. (Mike McGlinnen)
I can't believe how similar your impressions of the Rollins Band records are to mine. I try to tell anyone that will listen that Hard Volume is THE Rollins record, but no one seems to want to listen to me or the record.

Like you, I love the first three live songs from Do It and the way they all blur into one. I especially enjoy the feedback intro to Followed Around.

I think Rollins hit the wall after the End of Silence. He found himself becoming famous and probably began to believe the hype. The last record sounded like Pantera and this next one will really be pitiful, I'm sure. He had to fire all the interesting and innovative musicians and hire some shitty rockers as a backing band. Makes me feel stupid for sporting my Part Animal, Part Machine tattoo.

I also laughed out loud at the lame pot smoking freak that responded with his Gone comments. Obviously the real Gone were great, but they came before Rollins Band. Greg Ginn is shot at this point. The present "Gone" and the Greg Ginn solo records are rather embarassing.
I don't know why this record has such a bad first I thought it was because it was seen as the album that killed the Rollins Band, but since release it's had a bad rap. To me, it's the logical sequel to The End of Silence...that album feels like breaking yourself into pieces and examining them, then ultimately putting them back together, whereas this one feels like living with the inevitable mistakes you're going to make anyway. Or some shit.

At any rate it's a lot better than Weight, got to agree with you there, the only songs I liked on that were Liar and Shine. This one is great all the way through, though my favourite songs are Shame (love that floating effect on the last half of this song) and Disappearing Act. It's got to be the only album that you can listen to when lifting weights and when you're relaxing and enjoy equally. The album as a whole has some of the most conventionally catchy riffs they've ever used, but any hope of it being an overly commercialised album are dashed by Henry's delivery which is both new territory for him but also more or less the first time his poetry/writing style has shown up against music. The album sure is unique, and up against the two that followed I don't see why people don't consider it one of the better Rollins Band albums (though all the effects on Rollin's voice take some getting used to).

Add your thoughts?

Come In And Burn Sessions - 2.13.61 2004
Rating = 5

Here's a good OCD story for all you OCD fans out there. You know how I've been listening to pretty much nothing but Henry Rollins and Rollins Band double-CDs for the past couple weeks? Well, it got me to thinking quite a bit about Mr. Rollins' oevre of work, which got me to checking out Mr. Rollins' webb site, which got me to noticing that his email address is posted there, which got me to sending him an email with a quick question on it, which got him to sending a quick note back with an answer, which got me to getting all excited, which got me to writing him a really long note about how impressed I am with his spoken word material and whatnot, which got him to sending a quick thank you note back, which got me to sending him a drunken email that outlined my theory about why his audiences have dwindled since he picked up Mother Superior, which got him to sending a quick note back agreeing with me, which got me to starting to send little tiny notes whenever something on a CD hit me that I wanted to tell him 'thumbs up' for or ask a question about, which got him to not responding, which got me to asking a really ignorant question about the song "Volume Four," which got him to continuing to not respond, which got me to following up with an apology email for the ignorant question, which got him to responding earlier today with a note that read, "Mark, I appreciate the letters and all. I don't have time to read and respond to them. I'm on tour, doing a show every night, and checking my email in backstage areas. Also I'm not really a letter kind of guy. Thanks for understanding and I'll see you down the road. Henry Rollins," which got me to thinking, "No wonder that girl in college thought I was a stalker!"

Sorry, dude! I just got all excited about the idea that I could finally say anything I wanted to Henry Rollins, whom I've been a fan of for half of my life (16 years of 32, which equals 50%, or 'half'), and he would read it! I didn't mind him not responding; it was enough to know I could send him a quick note saying, "Man, 'Volume Four' is a harrowing song!" or whatever was on my mind, and he'd SEE it and know my feelings. After all, I knew that I would stop emailing (and thinking about) him once I finished listening and relistening to these 13 new double-CDs for review. But for these past two weeks, I've been obsessed, dag nab it! All his songs running through my head, his jokes running through my soul.... I mean, I never sent more than one email a day or anything. But when you're a busy celebrity and some guy you don't know keeps sending you dumbass (yet friendly and positive) emails every day, well I guess I can see how that would wear thin. Bless him for not just saying, "Okay, I get it - you're gay. Stop stalking me, a-hole!" The only problem now is that I keep getting this urge to email him again so I can let him know it was OCD-related and I'm really not this much of a loser in real life. But that would just kinda say, "Hey, I'm a loser in real life," so I'll refrain. He won't remember my name by this time tomorrow anyway. But I just wanted to share this humiliating little story with you because it's awesome how I keep alienating all of my childhood heroes (Biafra, Rollins -- next stop Glenn Danzig!).

Looking back at my (basically two-sentence) review of Come In And Burn, I am at a complete loss as to what fucking album I was actually listening to when I called it "funk metal." This doesn't come CLOSE to "funk metal"! Or rather - one song does and it's terrible, but the rest? No! Not funk metal at all! I can only assume that I'd been so turned off by Weight that I assumed its follow-up would be more of the same. But it haint! Come In And Burn, as I hear it today, is split into two different types of music: (a) Soundgarden-style melodic grunge/hard rock and (b) slow, quiet jazz-influenced rock driven by weird, dark bass lines. I still agree with my original contention that tracks 2-5 (mean, desperate guitar chuggers "Starve" and "All I Want," sad, odd jazzer "The End Of Something," and speedy aggressor "On My Way To The Cage") are among the greatest compositions of the band's entire career. However, eight years after the fact, I'm flabbergasted as to how I could have failed to include slow twisted sicko "Neon" and sad Soundgardeny "Saying Goodbye Again" in that list. All six of these songs are full of clever musical ideas, quirky bass riffs, and interesting Rollins deliveries - and that's half the record!

As for the other half, I'll go ahead and repeat my original phrase "nearly interchangeable." In particular, "Thursday Afternoon," "During A City" and "Inhale Exhale" all pretty much follow the mode of 'strange jazzy bass line, slow drums, guitar doing almost nothing, Henry just saying everything.' A great mood, but a bit same-o-licious after a while-o-licious. Not to mention, "Spilling Over The Side" is as rotten a funk rock apple as "Fool" and "Civilized" from the last album. But enough about Come In And Burn! We're here to talk about Come In And Burn Sessions, which is an entirely different release! The two have absolutely nothing at all in common aside from the former being included in its entirety on the latter!

As Renry Hollins says in the liner notes, "Some years later, Come In And Burn went out of print when DreadWorks decided that they weren't a very good record label. I got the title back and decided to make it as interesting as release as I could." That's why it includes an entire bonus disc of naked ladies!

That's not true. Actually it includes nine outtakes, alternate versions and remixes - almost none of which even approach having a melody. You know how about half of the songs on Come In And Burn have sort of a loose jazzy feel? Well, you should have heard the ones they threw in the commode! "Jazz"? More like "Open Free Fucking Each Other In The Ass Music!!!!" But like my mother always said, "If you can't say anything nice, that's fine. The important thing is that you keep talking, so the Bubonic Plague rats can find you in the dark."

Look, here's my impression of "Threshold": "Hey, I don't have an actual melody. My guitar is on super-repeat and just swirling around playing three notes over and over again, and my bass is distorted to bustin' and just making a bunch of noise. Also, I drag on for nine minutes." Now here's my impression of "During A City (Alt)": "Hey, you know how the album version of 'During A City' has a weird bass line and seemingly nothing else going on at all? Well, dump the bass line and you've got me." Finally I'd like to perform for you my top-selling impression of "Destroying The World": "Hey, I'm really slow, am highlighted by a single bwoopy bass line and lots of quiet parts containing no music, and drag on for an interminable twelve minutes, time enough to listen to 'Stairway To Heaven' and then most of it again a second time."

Whew! Boy, I'm bushed from all these impressions! From this point on, I shall use mere bullet points.

- two unnecessary remixes of "The End Of Something"

- a couple of bland rockers (one fast, one slow)

- an interesting experiment wherein two songs feature the same exact music but two different sets of lyrics, detailing a single situation from two points of view.

In contusion, Come In And Burn is a much better CD than I originally thought, and I proudly award it a 6.5 out of 10 (politely rounded up to 7). However, if I were rating this 'bonus' material alone, I'd give it a 2 out of 10. Not a single one of the outtakes deserved to be on the album, and five of the nine tracks just out and out suck balls through a hole in some guy's pant knee. Unless for some reason you see this double-disc version in a dollar bin, stick with the original single-disc non-Sessions version. You'll be glad you dead!

Reader Comments
all you have to do to alienate Glenn Danzig is ask a couple of questions about the Misfits. By the way, I'm confused, are you reviewing the bonus discs on reissues of albums that you purchased a second time? If you are, big ups on reviewing everything that was ever recorded by everyone

Add your thoughts?

Insert Band Here Live In Australia 1990 - 2.13.61 1999.
Rating = 9

ROLLINS BAND Insert Band Here 1990 session CD
Item # 2529151014

Music:CDs, Records, & Tapes:CDs:Punk, New Wave

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The title of this CD -- "Insert Band Here: Live in Australia 1990" -- is a bit of a misnomer that probably resulted in less people buying it than should have. This is NOT a concert CD like Turned On. This is the original Rollins Band (rollins, sim cain, andrew weiss and chris haskett) doing a RADIO session in Australia -- meaning that they are performing new studio-quality versions - but with no overdubs! Even if Henry had gotten really drunk and changed "Turned Inside Out" into a song about the trials of putting on a sock, NOTHING could be done! Like on Saturday Night Live where, believe me, NOTHING gets done! Basically Insert Penis Here is like a Peel Session.

No no, not David Peel of "The Pope Smokes Dope" fame! I mean renowned BBC DJ John Peel, who loves the Fall! Unfortunately John Peel had nothing to do with this release so if you pulled up this entry through a search engine, I apologize for getting your hopes all up.

The most important thing of which I need to remind you is that Henry Rollins used to be one of the most tortured, emotional and cathartic screamers in the busy(mike)ness. Most old-time fans recall that his vocal style only got boring when, by medical necessity, he was forced to change his vocal approach around the time he reached thirty. So please note with excitement that this album was recorded when he was 29!!!!!!!!! YEAH!!! YEAH!!! YEAH!!! AAAAAALLLLL-RIGHT!

Early early trudge-and-slam classics abound on this release, all built around the loud, active, distorted bass and psychotic high-pitched eerie echoey guitars that helped make this era of the band one of the most intense hardcore/blues/metal/rock and roll bands in the world. Plus Henry was still screaming like a rabid chihuahua instead of barking like a friendly great dane. Say! MY dog is named Henry too! But he's neither a chihuahua or a great dane, so I should probably save him for when I sell my live Doors CD.

And rarities? Oh! Well, there's a Cheech and Chong cover, for one. And a 14-minute depression anthem called "Out There" that never ended up on any studio release. And hey! Early road versions of Silence's "Tearing" and "You Didn't Need" before they were recorded! I love it, but what can I say, I need the money.

Disc is used but great condition. Domestic bidder pays $2 shipping; international pays actual shipping cost. Tracks: lonely, do it, what have i got, 1000 times blind, tearing, out there, you didn't need, hard, down and away, turned inside out, earache my eye (cheech and chong cover!). Released in 1999 on 2.13.61 records.

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ROLLINS BAND Insert Band Here 1990 session CD
Item # 2529151014
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Get Some Go Again - Dreamworks 2000.
Rating = 5

I still haven't figured out if this title is supposed to be read "Get Some Go -- Again" or "Get Some -- Go Again," but I don't guess it matters since it's not exactly going to go down in history as "an album worth wasting your time listening to." Here Mr. Rollins has pulled a Danzig and replaced his entire band. Unfortunately, he has replaced them with Mother Superior, a long-haired neo-hippie white funk James Gang wannabe band that Cassandra Harris used to manage before she moved to England. They come up with some killer riffs every once in a while, but those seem to be the ones where they're simply emulating the OLD band. The majority of their originals are just simplistic chuggle blues/funk riffs that might have been fun as darts to play loud and live, but they don't translate worth a shit to this little studio disc you're listening to in your living room.

There is one delightful surprise though -- the 14-minute funk-o-graph "LA Money Train." Yes, the music is a generic James Brown ripoff, but for the first time since Drive By Shooting, Rollins brings to his music the humorous side that makes his spoken word recordings such a hoot. His not-so-subtle putdowns of Beck and the Offspring will have your stitches in a cast! The only depressing moment is when he remarks that the radio landscape is "looking pretty mediocre." He's right, of course, but he's oblivious to the fact that his own record is...well.....pretty mediocre.

Reader Comments
YEAH, you're damned right!!! Hank better should have changed his name back to H. Garfield and call his Band the same. Not only that most of the songs are real boring, the mix is shitty too. (Where is Theo?) But there are positive aspects of his "union" with Mother Superior (-- neither their name nor their kind of Rock are unique):

1. Hank rediscovered some of his classics, e.g. my favorite "What Have I Got", and he rereleased the first RB-Albums including some "goodies" (e.g. Thin Air).

2. Hank is back on stage! -- I saw the Band live 03.14.00 in Munich.

But I missed Sim and especially Chris. I mean, this "SLASH-wanna-be" Jim Wilson looked as if his f***ing riffs would hurt him as much as they hurt me. But I'm afraid he looks this way all day -- that's why they should call him "The Rat". Marcus Blake was okay. (But Marcus and Jim should learn to stand still. They were running and jumping around all the time. Remember the time, when Hank and Sim "worked out" while Chris and Melvin stayed cool "Kings Of The Strings"!)

Hard Volume is my favourite record too. I like the bands Led Zep-Cover "Four Sticks" and the WARTIME-(great lyrics!)-Fast Food For Thought-EP (Andrew and Hank).

That's all. Thanx for reading my insignificant opinion (and please excuse my poor English). (disco)
I read two fucking lines on what you think you know about Rollins and laughed my ass off! Stick with bands you really know about, I was a roadie for Rollins and I know for a fact if he read that he would be offended and probably kick your ass!
Now that I've heard that Rollins is a genius, what can we add to that? Well, I read some of this fellows' poetry by mistake, and it was exactly what might result from a 10 year old who has a poetry assignment and get's out daddys' ginsberg, changes a word here and there, thinking he's fooling the teacher. Also I accidently saw a bit of a "comedy" routine of his and I laughed all right. What an imbicile. This man could get disability right away, but not for mental illness, or his ill founded grandiosity; but for the fact that they would want him out of the office before they broke out laughing in his face. This mentality of his is just a different version of redneck america in a different costume. Check out his fans if you don't believe me. The most radical thing these people ever did was to skateboard and slam into each other like a bunch of idiot football players, and they got the same exact goofy dimwit jock looks on their faces. The whole scene was a perfect argument for infanticide. (Mark)
Great song alert = LA Money Train.

Excellent. Totally.

Overall... 7/10

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Get Some Go Again Sessions - 2.13.61 2005
Rating = 5

I'm everything if not a guy who likes to excite the imaginations of music fans anywhere, so here's a joyful activity in which we can all get together and share a pleasing giggle. The activity is called "Hilarious Misheard Lyrics," and involves nothing more than sending in an email recalling some great 'hilarious misheard lyrics' of your youth. For example, here are a few from MY youth that we're all still laughing about up here in Hell:

Jefferson Airplane, "Somebody To Love"
She sang: "When the truth is found to be lies...."
I heard: "When the Tooky's found -- Tooky LIES!!!"

Black Crowes, "Hard To Handle"
He sang: "Hey little thing, let me light your candle 'cuz..."
I heard: "Hey little thing, let me light your chemicals"

Sam The Sham And The Pharaohs, "Wooly Bully"
He sang: "Hattie Told Mattie..."
I heard: "Had a cold headache"

So you see, we can all have a lot of fun sharing our "Hilarious Misheard Lyrics" with each other. It will be a really great time, so don't ruin it with your sarcasm and poison jelly bean gag. The reason I bring up the topic now of all unlikely moments is that for the longest time, I could have sworn that in one of the songs on Get Some Go Again, Henry sang the lines, "Piles of shit were taking a dump/In the world of love and the society of hate/Eat my balls and smell my shoe/Walk around naked like the Hoodoo Gurus." It wasn't until listening to this double-CD reissue with fresh ears that I realized he's actually saying "Hey".

Okay, so apparently Get Some Go Again was supposed to be a double-CD. Because this plan fell through (probably a record company decision), Henry put together a disc of all the outtakes and released it in 2000 under the name Yellow Blues. Nobody told me about this. If they had, I would have bought the goddem thing! Nevertheless, this repackaging saves us all the effort because it includes both Get Some Go Again and Yellow Blues in their entireties, along with two live tracks ("What Have I Got" and a song from Yellow Blues called "Action"), an electronic press kit and the video for "Get Some Go Again."

Listening to Get Some Go Again for the first time since I reviewed it six years ago, I stand by my earlier assessment that it's half-great and half-sheat. On the great side, it has a couple of super-energetic punky rockers, a couple of killer sludgey-slow numbers and a few other fun lil' ditties with catchy chord sequences. On the side of stuff I personally don't like, the other half of the record sounds like filler from an old Mountain album. The guitars are loud, thick and heavy, but the riffs are basic '70s hard rock -- not even hooky hard rock, but just... well, just sorta funky, dull hard rock. If you wanna know what I think. That's what I think. If you wanna know my opinion.

Surprisingly, Yellow Blues is just as good/bad. It's a lot more diverse and less boogie-rockin' than the official release, but just as split between interesting compositional ideas and anachronistic wah-wah racket. Highlights in my ears' opinion include slow, scary-noise-filled "Yellow Blues," one-chord smash-smash-smash screaming "Don't Let This Be" (which is buried in so much distortion, it sounds like the mixing console is literally on fire!), sad slow arpeggio ballad "Hold On," and jazz-guitar croon "Hell's Lounge Band Unwinds" (in which Rollins adopts a Jim Morrison/Glenn Danzig voice and sings actual notes for a change!). If only these four great tracks had been combined to the six great tracks on GSGA, we'd have wound up with one great album instead of two mediocre ones! Oh well. We all have our own tastes though. The 'bad songs' are less 'bad' than they are 'not what I personally am into.'

Except the whiteboy funker "Love's So Heavy" and endless artless noise blow "Coma," which are incontestably bad songs. Horrible, as a matter of fact.

On another note, how on Earth did Rollins expect his fan base to follow him to this new sound? The original Rollins Band were a dark, menacing band churning out brooding, depressed riffs that went perfectly with Henry's "I look at you and I see me" lyrics. But the replacement Rollins Band - though they did play the occasional dark riff - were really just a happy goodtime boogie rock band. For example, Get Some Go Again features a Thin Lizzy cover (not a very strong track either), and it sounds exactly like half of the band's original compositions. This is Henry's first attempt to create "feel good music" to rock out to, and -- not that the idea was necessarily a bad one, but this kind of music requires a songwriting team of a certain calibre. Actually, ANY type of music does, so forget that sentiment. Basically, Mother Superior were not as consistent as the original Rollins Band were (forgetting Come In And Burn, of course). And the big dumb rock sound was just not going to appeal to an audience that had spent the previous twenty years counting on Rollins to deliver the alienated, rage-filled goods every time out.

On a related note, long-time Rollinsheads will notice post-haste that this double-CD has been credited not to 'Rollins Band' but to 'Henry Rollins And Mother Superior.' I corresponded with my "good friend" Henry Rollins about this issue recently, and he confirmed that he and the band are no longer working together (though they are still friends). He decided to re-attribute this material to 'HR and MS' because Mother Superior still exists as a band, and he wants to make sure they get credit where it's due for the material they recorded together back in those zesty days of the 20th Century, fox.

How come men don't refer to women as 'foxes' anymore? Did Women's Lib ruin THAT too? Pisssh. "Women's Lib." More like "MAD Lib" if you ask me! Because they're MAD about everything!

No hang on

Reader Comments
I basically agree with your comments concerning the "old" and the "new" (or is it "less old" nowadays?) Rollins Band... but I still like the directness of the Mother Superior albums, even if the music might be less innovative. The original RB albums can be pretty dense and hard to get into if I'm not in the right mood. I saw them in 1988 or 1989 in London, opening for Nick Cave, and I couldn't really get into the music at the time. Later albums like Weight and this one have helped to "open up" the earlier albums for me. I definitely rate the Mother Superior albums higher than you have...

By the way, when it was made official that Rollins and Mother Superior were to go different ways, there were rumours that he would get together with people from the old RB (among others) for his next musical project. That would be great, but still no signs of any results...

(two weeks later)

A comment on my previous comment above - this is from Henrys online journal:

"03-29-06 NYC NY: 1903 hrs. In a hotel room. Today was a little crazed. I flew to NYC. I got to the hotel, dropped my stuff and ran down the street to band practice. I was there for 90 minutes and then ran back to the room, heard the phone ringing in my hotel room and got it in time to start two hours of phone press. I am a little out of it but ok. I have to be in the lobby for press. I have press from 0800 until 1800. then I go to band practice and then onto Sirius Radio to do a show with David Johansen.

The above writing has perhaps made one or two of you curious. The band. Yes. Its Melvin Gibbs on bass, Chris Haskett on guitar, Sim Cain on drums and Theo Van Rock on sound. Actually we have been practicing on and off for months now, slowly getting it together. Today I went in and they were playing Shame when I got there. Today I did Black and White, Volume 4, Civilized, Divine Object Of Hatred, Alien Blueprint, Disconnect. It was all I had time for before I had to sprint to the hotel.

So, we are back together and are planning on getting some shows in by August. Nothing is booked yet. We have contacted all the agents are seeing what's available. It's been really cool being back in the practice room with these guys after all these years. I had a meeting with Theo the other night in Amsterdam for about an hour after the show and he's in 100%. I am looking forward to getting more practices happening."
When I was a kid, I thought the Xmas Carol "Deck the Halls" went "Dick the horse eats bells of holy".

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A Clockwork Orange Stage - 2.13.61 2000
Rating = 5

Hillary Rodhams is back - and this time, he's BLACK!

Female African-American senator Henry Rollins recorded this live CD with Mother Superior (kiss my posterior) in Copenhagen, Denmark on July 1, 2000, just sixteen days before the record-breaking 27th birthday of "Copenhagen Den" Mark Prindle. It features 8 songs from Get Some Goats Today, two each from Hard Volume and Yellow Blues, one each from Do It, The End Of Silence and the as-yet-unrecorded Nice, and least enticingly at all -- two additional Thin Lizzy covers to accompany the weak, boring Thin Lizzy cover from Get Some Go Again! Way to go, Hen R. Yroll of the INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service)! Great job, Henry Roll of the INS (Intravenous Nurses Society)! You really did it this time, H. Enryr Oll of the INS (International Neuropsychological Society)!

I have shits and fuckall to say about this CD. But one thing's for sure - it's live!

Not much stage patter going down; mostly just Henry saying friendly stuff about rockin'. Of note is the fact that they play pretty much all the songs I HATE from Get Some Go Again, and only a few that I actually like. As for the new line-up's versions of the former line-up's material: "Do It" is disappointing because Henry can't hit the high notes anymore so there's no sense of triumph and exuberance, and "Hard" is ruined by either a slightly out of tune bass or somebody hitting the wrong notes. But "What Have I Got" and "Tearing" still tear, and have got what.

The only other thing I might bother mentioning is that when Henry introduces the band members after the first song, they do a wacky joke bit wherein he says the guitarist's name - and the drummer plays! Then he introduces the drummer, and the bassist plays! Finally, he introduces the bassist, and both the guitarist and drummer play! So never let them tell you that Mother Superior is not a standup comedian because he is - and a funny one! He has bright red hair that he wears in braids, and he makes all these hilarious joke props.

Speaking of jokes:

What do you call an asshole who refuses to use Windows Media Player because he thinks their competitor has a better product?
A REAL asshole!

What's the difference between a disgusting slob and a resident of San Francisco?
One likes to belch and fart; the other likes to felch on the BART!

Knock knock!
Who's there?
The who?
The New Cars, featuring Todd Rundgren!

What do you get when you cross Paul Simon with a bag of shit?
No difference whatsoever!

Reader Comments
Denmark, yes - Copenhagen, no. This one was recorded at the Roskilde festival, and the town of Roskilde is about half an hour by train away from Copenhagen. OK, not that far away, but still two different towns. The festival's largest stage is called the "Orange stage", hence the name of the album.

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Nice - Sanctuary 2001.
Rating = 4


Okay, I'm willing to hand it to Mother Superior -- they are more creative than I originally gave them credit for. Half of these songs are just GREAT -- not screaming psychotic Hard Volume great, but funky heavy bluesy hard rock great. The guitarist plays some wonderfully neat slide and bendy note detuned stuff to transform predictable bluesisms into something you can actually *enjoy* in "We Walk Alone" and "Hello," the drummer shows his wickedness to me personally with his wild machine gun drumming in "I Want So Much More" and the bassist makes me more blissful than an ignorant buffoon with his inspired "Your Number Is One." Plus the band locks together like a tree in the punk speed "Gone Inside The Zero" and beautifully interplayatory funkass "Up For It." These are songs that are really REALLY hard not to enjoy. Unfortunately, Mr. Rollins himself brings nothing at all to the equation, just barking like a gym teacher and telling you to do some push-ups. See, this would be the PERFECT time to cover "Give That Chicken Fat Back To The Chicken And Don't Be Chicken Again" but something keeps holding them back. Fear of failure?

Unfortunately, the musical inspiration doesn't last for the entire CD. The other half is full of bland hard rock, blues/funk riffs you've heard a billion times before (the lead track "One Shot" sounds exactly like the Chili Peppers' "Give It Away," but with EVERY SMIDGEN OF PERSONALITY SUCKED OUT AND THROWN INTO THE ATLANTIC OCEAN!) and, worst of all, "soulful" female backup vocals (ugh!). Why do people like soulful female backup vocals? They make everything sound like it belongs in a Whoopie Goldberg movie!

No doubt you'll be able to get this on ebay for like 30 cents (I got my copy for $3 total about a month after it came out), so you'd might as well. If nothing else, you should keep your Rollins collection up-to-date and intact so that you can start a web site to compete with mine. Then we can become ruthless and start hacking each other's sites, calling each other "no-talent jerks" on message boards and committing genocidal atrocities that look like the other guy did it. It'll be AWE! (some)

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A Nicer Shade Of Red - 2.13.61 2001
Rating = 6

I bet you thought I couldn't get any lazier with my reviews. WRONG AGAIN!




Reader Comments
Wha??? I can actually read words on that page.

MUCH lazier next time, eh?

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The Only Way To Know For Sure - 2.13.61 2002
Rating = 5

I am constantly asked, "Paul! What is your favorite music magazine?" The truth is that I don't read any music magazines. I also don't watch any TV or listen to any radio. I learn about new bands by people emailing me about them. That's presumably how I learned about four noisy-but-smart newish bands that I would like to recommend to you right now: Drowningman, The Hope Conspiracy, Every Time I Die, and Burnt By The Sun. Read about them on All Music Guide and see if they sound like something you'd like. They're all quite nifty! You have to like screaming though, because all four of these cheese-filled pretzel rings (combos) are of the screamo/metalcore/math-metal varietitty.

On a related note, today we took Henry The Dog to the local dog run, where a couple of police pricks gave us a $100 ticket for letting him walk away from us to take a dump (they called him 'off-leash' but his leash was clearly resting right there on his back). That's not the point of this anecdote though -- that's right, there's MORE!!! Henry's favorite thing about the dog run is finding a nice-smelling, fluffy, submissive dog to just hump the hell out of until somebody yanks him off (the dog). So today he's humping away on a Yellow Lab with this big smile on his face when all of a sudden the dog leaps out from under him. I'm not sure exactly what happened next, but from the middle of a group of dogs, we heard a plaintive cry. I thought nothing of it, but my wife recognized it as Mr. Henry. As she started making her way over to him, he cried again; this time, I too recognized it as Mr. Henry and went down to help. So we got down there, expecting to find bloody toothmarks or a loose dew-claw or something, and he's just licking at his penis. I says to him I says, "What's wrong?" and this old woman says to me, "He's got an erection!" which isn't something you usually say quite that loudly in a public place. I responds I says, "Well, why is he crying?" and she ignores me and says to Henry, "Don't worry! It'll go back down in a second!" And I know my dog, he's had dog-boners before (where that little pink thing comes out) and they've never made him cry. So I'm worried that maybe a rock has gotten into his sheath or something. This is a great story, by the way, and is totally going in next week's sermon. So eventually Henry's back to normal and clearly not in any more discomfort. So I says, "I didn't know it hurt when that happened!" And the erection lady says, 'Well, it's COLD! Think about it!" And I thought about it for a moment and realized she was probably right. His big ol' red wet dog wang was getting all windy and blown-on and frozen and he couldn't make it go back in! But then the erection lady put the corker on the cake as she called out to me, "YOU try it!"

So I fucked the shit out of her.

I don't know; it didn't seem exciting enough with the original ending so I embellished it a bit. Hey, we can't all have lives as exciting as that Million Little Pieces Of Shit guy.

Incidentally, if you were wondering whether we named our dog after Henry Rollins, the answer is "Yes. Fuck you." We didn't do it as a tribute; we did it because the track "Hey Henrietta" from Drive-By Shooting (where he keeps going "Hey Henry! Hey Henry!") made my wife say, "Henry! That would be a good name for a dog!" About a year later we got a dog and WHAMMO!

He got hit by a car. But then we got another dog and WHAMMO! He was christened Henry The Dog!

(We didn't really have a dog that got hit by a car. That was just a little 'WHAMMO!' humor for all you 'WHAMMO!' fans out there)

You know, not everybody can be as good as the original Rollins Band. This homily proves true even for Rollins Band V2, for although they certainly possessed the energy and rockin' attitude that he was seeking, they weren't anywhere near as unique and intelligent a band as his first. When you listen to the old Rollins Band, you hear new musical ideas -- odd quirky chord changes and note-melodies that you hadn't thought of before. Combined with insanely distorted wah-wah bass tones and a drummer who (I don't know. Put something here.), the result was music that created an ambiance of true sickness in the brain. Sure they had some dope-headed funk crap in there too, but those were rare weak moments. For the most part, Rollins Band V1 equalled killer riffs, awesome musicianship, and a certain idiosyncratic 'menage a trois' that separated them from other loud hard rock bands near and far.

Mother Superior, on the other hand, are basically a slightly-better-than-average '70s-style funky hard rock band. You can easily spot their influences (Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath, probably Foghat and stuff like that too) and their music too often relies upon cliches. Cliched chord sequences, cliched guitar solos, cliched drum beats -- even their high-speed punk rock songs are just cliched chord sequences from 1979! They certainly wrote some great songs here and there, but - and I said this earlier on the site - their best songs were generally (though not without exception, understand) the ones that sounded the most like the OLD Rollins Band. In other words, their darker, more deranged material.

Thus, The Only Way To Know For Sure - split 75/25 between new material and old-band material - is a spotty endeavor. A live double-CD recorded in Chicago in 2002, it features 10 Nice songs (the entire album except for "Let The Devil Out" and "Hangin' Around"), 4 A Nicer Shade Of Reds, 7 Get Some Go Agains, 3 The End Of Silences, 2 Come In And Burns, 1 Weight (and it's not "Liar"!) and "Do It." Eight of the songs were also previously available in live versions on A Clockwork Orange Stage. Jim, Jason and Marcus do a good job with most of Chris, Sim, Andrew and Melvin's material ("Disconnect," "Tearing" "All I Want" and "Starve" sound fantastic!), but Jim's inexplicable inability to play the 'pretty chords' in "You Didn't Need" and "Low Self-Opinion" render them ugly and disappointing, and these guys don't even sound like they like "Do It." As for their own material, as expected, sometimes the riffs are awesome ("On The Day"! "Up For It"! "Ten Times"!) and other times you wonder how Henry Rollins could possibly consider this anachronistic whiteboy funk to be a worthwhile expenditure of his time ("One Shot"? "Monster"? "Thinking Cap"?).

On the soundwise production tip, the bass is a little too quiet and the guitar starts sounding horribly trebly and messy during the last six songs. Also of note is disc two's 'enhanced' inclusion of music videos for "Get Some Go Again," "Your Number Is One" and the superior remix of "Illumination." The latter is a particularly intriguing video, apparently showing Henry walking around a third-world country. His big ol' bulky muscle body sure looks odd wearing normal clothes! He also looks much taller than everybody else in the video, but I guess the undernourished don't exactly shoot up fifty feet in the air.

But you know who does? The Red Hot Chili Peppers on a roof!

Zinger. I'm gonna have to tell Neil Hamburger about that one.

I'm curious whether anybody in the world but me bothered buying this CD. Did this second incarnation of the Rollins Band actually have any fans? I paid $4 for it on Amazon!

In conclusion, I'd like you to keep one thing in mind:

The phrase "big ol' red wet dog wang"

Reader Comments
Well, yes, I bought this CD when it was released... I remember that I rated it as one of the best releases that year. So I apparently liked the second (third?) incarnation of the band. A "slightly-better-than-average '70s-style funky hard rock band" with Henry Rollins at the microphone is a rather good '70s-style funky hard rock band to my ears.

'"Paul! What is your favorite music magazine?" The truth is that I don't read any music magazines. '

I managed to get free subscriptions to many of them. You ain't missing anything. However, I absolutely have to stay that Paste ranks up there with Black Enterprenuer (why my wife got a free subscription to that when I'm white and she's Chinese I'll never understand) as worst magazine.

The problem with Paste is the incoming letters from their "readers" usually read something like:


Dear Paste,

I was lost in the wasteland of bad music without being able to find anything decent. Blender, Mark Prindle, and Rolling Stones totally blow chunks and wouldn't know good music if it burst their ear drums. Your magazine is the greatest thing ever - greater than sliced bread itself. You have great taste in music.

If you ever come to town, I'll give you a free blow job.

Tom Dixon
Cedar Rapids, Iowa


And their free sampler CDs are so bad that I started giving them to my daughter as toys instead of actually listening to them.

Blender is probably the best of the lot because it is funny and they aren't too full of themselves. Their picture captions are incredible. However, they have this column for the making of the greatest songs ever which is great when they discussed "Smoke on the Water". Somehow a few months ago, "Interstate Love Song" by STP shows up. What's really pathetic about this was that I own the CD (a mistake) and had to listen to it to even remember the song....

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Rise Above - 2.13.61/Sanctuary 2002.
Rating = 8

When I read on the Intronet that a Black Flag tribute album was coming out, I was so excited I stepped into the computer and took a wondrous journey through the highways and biways of Cyberspace. My first stop was, of course,, where I spent a good deal of time debating the merits of Keynes' General Theory and ways in which a greater reliance on his beloved counter-cyclical demand management policies may have helped prevent the recession in which we now find ourselves, and looking at boobs. When this activity had tired of me, I trundled on over to, where one of the headlines proudly informed me that Cardinal Law, bastard asshole prick of all pricks, had finally agreed to get his worthless monstrous ass out of the Boston Archdiocese and hopefully permanently crucified on some huge black guy's 85-inch cock for his sins against the human race. I was so pleased with this development, I came up with some hilarious jokes for you to enjoy and share with your students:

More like Cardinal "Out" Law -- for more than one reason!

"I went to visit Cardinal Law - and all I got was this lousy dick up my ass!"

Cardinal Law, he's our man! If he can't do it, he takes viagra

I actually LIKE church now that I'm a pedophile!

shove up that CATHeter! O god! LICk my balls!

Then I hopped out of the computer into this record store called Sounds on Astor Place, bought the CD and went home. And imagine my arrogance and fluctuation when I opened the CD and discovered that the CD (a) was pulled together by Henry Rollins of Black Flag/Rollins Band fame, (b) featured lead vocals by Henry Rollins on SEVEN different songs, (c) was released to benefit the West Memphis Three, famous actors best known for their roles in the movie version of John Milton's "Paradise Lost,"and (television) had the ROLLINS BAND playing the music on EVERY SINGLE SONG. Now am I rocking company policyboat if I point out that this is a very bizarre way for a human being to pull together a tribute album -- by having his CURRENT band perform nothing but songs written by the estranged leader of his OLD band? Henry sneakily tries to get past that point by suggesting in the liner notes, "If I were Greg Ginn, I would take this record as the highest compliment ever paid to his peerless talent." Problem is, if he actually WAS Greg Ginn, he would take this record as a missed opportunity to add more cash to his weed fund (currently maintained by unpaid Meat Puppets, Husker Du and Sonic Youth royalties). Not to mention the obvious racism in allowing his name to be nNIGGERg spelled backwards.

Funnily enough, the Rollins Band (formerly blues rockers Mother Superior) do a really kickass job recreating the songs -- even the really weird ones like "Room 13" and "What I See." The guitar solos aren't as liquidly avant-garde and creepy as Mr. Ginn's but that was his trademark - NOBODY can take his atrocious solos away from him. But the guitar tones are evil and cruddy, the drummer pounds all those weirdo Black Flag drumlines perfectly ("Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie," "I've Heard It Before," etc...) and the bassist does Dukowski's floppy thump finger-pound every bit as well as Dukowski treats his poppy bump ring around the collar.

So that's GREAT songs played in a GREAT way. What could possibly go wrong? The VOCALS could go wrong! HORRIBLY wrong! Henry's throat has been put under too much strain throughout his life for him to do an adequate imitation of the hopeless angst and boundless rage he expressed in his early 20s, and too many of the guest vocalists are just SHITTY! Original Black Flag singer Keith Morris does a fine job on "Nervous Breakdown," but that's always been a simple song. Iggy Pop brings WAY too much smarm to "Fix Me." Hank III and guys from bands called Amen and The Mars Volta bring this really fucking annoying Jello Biafra voice quiver to their pussyass versions of "No Values," "Depression" and "I've Had It." The Poison the Well guy skips the entire hilarious intro to "I've Heard It Before" (what is even the POINT of that song without the "AUTHORITY! BULLSHIT! AUTHORITY! BULLSHIT!" part?). Lemmy, as great as he usually is, makes it harmfully obvious exactly how underwritten "Thirsty & Miserable" is. Mike Patton finds it necessary to use the decades-old "trick" of shouting into a distortion pedal for his lousy version of "Six Pack." And old Black Flag bassist Kira Roessler sounds more obnoxious than cute in the new version of "Annihilate This Week."

On the plus positive addition side, the screamers from Clutch, Slipknot and Slayer are perfect for this music, Ice T does Ice T perfectly on "Police Story" and Chuck Dukowski (as opposed to "Chuck D.," who also appears on here, though he doesn't actually recite any Black Flag lyrics) brings a dark, retarded sort of middle-aged depression sickness feel to his own "What I See" (as opposed to pretending to be an angry YOUNG man like Rollins tries, and fails, to do). And weirdly, Nick Oliveri of Queens of the Stone Age sounds a LOT like second Black Flag singer Ron Reyes, who sang the original!

And, okay, all complaints aside, Henry's comfortable new leather pants image guy is TAILOR-MADE for "TV Party," which the young skinhead version of himself really WASN'T on Damaged all those years ago.

Ignore the bonus track sung and performed by Ryan Adams. That man is pathetic. Does he really think all that awful ear-piercing whiny horseshit sounds "emotional"? If you are a fan of that guy, take a close look at yourself and stop doing it. He's a talentless, self-obsessed piece of shit.

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