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Rollins Band

© Imago Records

February 23 - 29, 2020

Year of Release: 1994
  • Disconnect
  • Fool
  • Icon
  • Civilized
  • Divine
  • Liar
  • Step Back
  • Wrong Man
  • Volume 4
  • Tired
  • Alien Blueprint
  • Shine

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    N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
    Henry Rollins' band, Rollins Band, marks their debut this week, on WSVNRadio. Weight was released in 1994. For those who are not familiar with Rollins' music, it is hard, grinding, rock. Heavy Metal. Speed Metal. Alternative-Metal. It's the heaviest rock you will ever hear. And for this kind of hard rocking music, you probably would never hear his music on the radio; Ok, maybe the Alternative Rock formats. Weight defines powerful rock, mind-blowing rock. This is rock music you really have to be in the mood for. And saying that, Weight definitely deserves its name: Weighing in at the most hardest rock you will ever hear. And saying that, this album's review is simply one word... GREAT!

    Weight most likely was first introduced to rock fans, from watching Beavis & Butt-Head. "Liar" was in one of their episodes -- "Liar! Liar!" Also, the song "Disconnected" was on two of Beavis & Butt-Head episodes: "Top O' The Mountain" (1995) and "Shortcuts" (1997). "Civilized" was used as the closing theme of Dennis Miller Live from 1994-2002 on HBO.

    "Disconnect" starts off this powerful album, and is Henry rapping? It kinda sounds like it, and he sure has a cool way in doing that. The Red Hot Chili Peppers rock gets the similarities on "Fool" and "Divine Object Of Hatred." Metallica is compared to "Icon" and "Civilized." However, the Rollins Band's sound is way powerful and thundering than the other two bands mentioned.

    I can see how Beavis & Butt-Head enjoyed "Liar" ... The song starts out at a slow pace, then once the chorus rings in, it's back to the hard, grinding rock. This is where Beavis & Butt-Head yell out, "YES!!!" and raises their fists up high.

    I't obvious, that you will probably never hear the Rollins Band's music on the radio (AM / FM) ... The language sums it up, such as "Step Back." And, with the foul language, and violence mentions (as in the next track, "Wrong Man"), again, it's obvious, their music will only be heard (if possible) on more adult-generated formats. (The Internet? Basically anything is played on Internet Radio, if you can find the stations that are willing to play the music of the Rollins Band, and other rough-and-rugged bands/artists similar.) The "F" word is commonly used on "Step Back" : You're so f-----g weak/You disgust me/It's a drag when you bring me down/All the things that you say/No one cares anyway/But then you've got to deal with me Most of the lyrics in many of the songs on Weight deals with how one feels about themselves. Henry Rollins sings in a negative, yet angry voice, as heard in "Wrong Man" : You say we're all the same/You don't even know my name/Sometime somewhere some man hurt you/I'm one of them so I get stuck with the blame/You think you know about me/You don't know a damn thing about me TOUGH lyrics.

    The reference to gun violence (and self doubt/self-negativity) is heard in the lyrics on "Volume 4" : Got no reason got no need/I hear gunshots I hear screams/What can you do for me/What can you say/I used to be alive but I threw it all away/I ued to have problems/I used to live a lie/But then I saw the sidewalk bleed and I watched his mother cry/I used to use my mind/I used to wonder why/Now I go from day to day and wait around to die like he did Again, TOUGH, and HARD, HARD ROCK MUSIC.

    But things slow down musically, on "Tired." And the lyrics again, tells of desperation: I'm so tired of myself/I'm tired in my sleep/I'm so tired of my lies/I'm tired of the secrets that I keep/I'm so tired of looking inside myself/Trying to find something/I'm getting tired This song is mostly spoken word, but does does this song relate to a slow sounding track by Alice Cooper? Could it be that Rollins' voice is an "impersonation" of Alice? (Don't forget, Alice Cooper's lyrics back in his heyday with his band also covered dark lyrics.)

    "Alien Blueprint" returns back to the hard, grinding rock, and dark lyrics. "Shine" ends the album, as it is rocking, and it's kinda funky. Red Hot Chili Peppers and even Rob Zombie gets the comparisons, musically. And the lyrics? Again, self-doubt. However, the lyrics to "Shine" just may find hope : When you start to doubt yourself/the real world will eat you alive/It's time to align your body with your mind/It's hero time/I'm talking to you, Hero time starts right now/If you think you've got 100 extra years to mess around you're wrong/This time it's real. Your time is now, it's hero time

    For the most part, the lyrics are dark, the music is powerful. It's in-your-face, whether you like it or not - hard rock. The messages in the lyrics are quite clear. Dark roads, and even if those roads are not as what they should be, the promise in the ending song, "Shine" hopefully can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. More lyrics from this song, shows the positive: Hard times are getting harder/The liars are acting strong/You better get a grip on yourself/Or you won't be around for long/No such thing as spare time/No such thing as free time/No such thing as down time/All you got is life time/Change it/I got grace in times of friction/I got truth in time of friction/I've got no time for the hype/Suicide? Sorry man I'm not that type/No time for drug addiction/No time for smoke and booze/Too strong for a shortened life span/I've got no time to lose

    Wow, times can be rough, yet try to work it out. Although most of the lyrics in these songs are of rough nature. But at the end, try and work it out. Giving up is not the answer. The line: Suicide? Sorry man I'm not that type Henry Rollins gives us the messages in each song, as rough and rugged as they are. The light is at the end of the tunnel. Only if you make it happen.

    Did you know... that the character of "Negan" from the TV show The Walking Dead was based on Henry Rollins? He was the physical model for the nefarious Negan. Rollins revealed that Carlie Adlard, artist and penciller for the Walking Dead comics, had based the character on him. He doesn't claify if that means the character has his temperment, build, or bat, but he did feel he was a "shoo-in" for the part. Although he was offered to play the role of Negan, Rollins just wasn't into it: Said Rollins: "The internet was wild with speculation because in the upcoming season, they were going to introduce the character. A woman that works in my office put my name and the character's name into an internet search and all this speculation came up. I went for the audition, and there were five pages of really cool dialogue with all these curses and it was beautiful, but I didn't get it. Despite giving a profanity-ridden audition, Rollins was ultimiately passed over for Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who made his first appearance as Negan in that "controversial" season six finale. The actor-musician signed a non-disclosure agreement, so he couldn't talk about his audition until the thing had lapsed. On the bright side, Rollins agrees that Morgan looks like Negan, which means he looks like Rollins, so maybe they can play irascible brothers in a movie down the road. (Rollins has made movies, as many as 19.) Read the story here

    Did you know #2... Henry pretty much gave up music, for spoken word albums? He has recorded albums, where he would narrate stories from his personal life to his audiences. He even pursued spoken word comedy. As for leaving music: I got asked by someone if I was going to go on tour this summer and play what at this point is old music. I told the person that I wasn't because that currently, my future is getting in the way of my past. I tell you this because in the summer months, you can count on bands that have been gone for years who will reassemble and go onto stages all over the world playing 'vintage music'... I read the interviews where the musicians claim that now they can really play this music. I don't doubt them, but therein lies the problem. Musicians should not play Music. Music should play musicians. This is why I stopped touring with a band. I put up my fists and there was no longer anything there. It was heartbreaking, but it was clear. Music had moved on. Such was my reverence for its limitless power, I faced this truth and moved on in search of new battles. Read the story here

    Henry Rollins is a pretty interesting guy. His music told us stories. His spoken words on his life tells us stories. More of his music, and spoken words, will be further reviewed here on WSVNRadio.

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