Rollins Band – Life Time

ARTIST: Rollins Band 220px-Life_Time_cover
TITLE: Life Time
YEAR RELEASED: 1987
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: None
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: No, but you really should if you’re in a horrible awful mood.
LINEUP: Henry Rollins, Chris Haskett, Andrew Weiss, Sim Cain
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Henry puts together a hot, tight, loud band and terrorizes stereo equipment everywhere. That’s a good thing.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: When the first track is called “Burned Beyond Recognition”, and it sounds very convincing, you know you’re in for a very hard and angry time. The Rollins Band is as loud and angry as their front man. You think Henry is a little intense now? This record…this is intense.

The band itself cooks. Unlike Black Flag, they’re pretty traditional hard rock (no wild explorations) and they’re excellent musicians, and also seem to want to pummel you as well. Weiss and Cain are really locked in, and Haskett’s guitar work has the right combo of power and chops where his riffs and solos add and complement the song instead of distracting from it.

Rollins isn’t really ‘singing’ – does he ever? He vocalizes and I pity his vocal cords. He’s really into it. Lyrically, though, it kind of gets wearing on you after a while, and his slower diatribes can get a bit long and overdone.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: This was produced by Rollins’ friend Ian MacKaye, famous for Dischord Records, Minor Threat and Fugazi. This isn’t streaming, like most all of Rollins’ independent stuff – but you can find it on You Tube.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Originally this had a lot of live tracks recorded in Belgium. A later re-issue axed the live tracks and added three studio cuts that were part of his next album. The current vinyl re-issue restores everything the way it was.

GRADE: B+: I can’t give it an A grade because a couple of the tracks (“Gun in Mouth Blues”, for one) really wear on me. Still, several cuts are go to for me if I’m every really angry and want to just have something to yell along with. You should try it.

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