Sunday, May 1, 2016

Rollins Band – Weight

Remember back in the mid 90s when the big labels and mainstream media looked everywhere for new genuine rock to sign and play? Grunge was in full swing and Headbangers Ball, Alternative Nation and 120 Minutes on MTV was the the thing to look at to discover new music. Those were the days of Beastie Boys, Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth, Faith No More, Dinosaur Jr. And of course Rollins Band.

Now, Henry Rollins is a counterculture icon and rightfully so considering his part in Black Flag and as a voice in punk rock. These days Uncle Henry has retired from music but is doing endless spoken word tours around the world. He is an actor, writer and a radio host on KCRW where he is playing two hours of cool music very week. The man seems to have 48 hours in one day.

But back to 1994. This might be the best music year ever considering the amount of classic albums that were released back then. Google it, there are too many to mention here. But Rollins Band released Weight and had a massive hit on MTV with Liar and a minor hit with Disconnect from that very album.

Produced by Theo Van Rock it is the follow up to The End Of Silence released two years earlier that had almost the same line up apart from the new bass player Melvin Gibbs who had a quite intresting non-rock background. And that might have been contributing to the grooviness and new heaviness of Weight.

Rollins has never been afraid to mix things up musically. Black Flag had it's jazzy moments and with Rollins Band he really streched it on Weight. Tracks like Fool and Wrong Man is more of a groove affair than a bone crushing punk rock attack. But the cracking of bones is present in stuff like Civilize and Icon. And in Volume 4 in which Rollins Band turns into that monster of the riff honouring its name with Henry screaming his lungs out.

I love this album because of it's diversity and nonconformist attitude. And it is the high point of Henry Rollins creativity as a musician in my book. I listen to this album today and it doesn't feel dated or old. The production is as good today as it was back then and the songs are stellar.

-The Void

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