joshthevegan: (Hank)


By the time Life Time (the first album under the Rollins Band banner) arrived, Henry had already released one full length and an E.P. with guitarist Chris Haskett which quelled any concern people might have had about his ability to thrive without (Black Flag guitarist) Greg Ginn. Haskett cut his teeth playing in Ginn's instrumental project Gone where he clearly learned a thing or two about atonal, jazz-influenced rock which he used as a foundation to add his own blues, funk, and soul influences. His abilities and creativity were at least the equal of his mentor, if not slightly stronger.

The arrival of bassist Andrew Weiss and drummer Sim Cain helped to add focus to Haskett and Rollins vision. With a rock solid, crushing rhythm section, Haskett's stellar fretwork and Hank's legendary vocals, the Rollins Band had arrived with Life Time. Stylistically, it is not a huge step away from the later Black Flag records or Hot Animal Machine, though Ian MacKaye's production lends the set a bit more muscle then it's predecessors. It wouldn't be until the next time the Rollins Band headed into the studio that hints of the dynamic funk they would gain (comparative) fame with would appear; this time around aggressive, barely contained blasts of post-hardcore rock are on the menu, and what a feast it is.

The artwork (care of Stephen Meyers) is direct and to the point, intense and unrelenting with no frills. A fitting tone for Life Time, to be sure. The band would continue with album art very similar to this (completely black and white with the same lettering for the text) for their next few releases, until The End Of Silence broke the mold for the Rollins Band, in more ways than one.
joshthevegan: (Hank)


Black Flag's mammoth debut long player (which I talked about at length over here) is notable not only because it is one of the finest (or, in my opinion, the finest) hardcore punk albums ever laid to tape, but also because of the iconic photo of singer Henry Rollins putting his fist through a mirror taken by legendary punk rock photographer Edward Colver. One of only a few releases by 'Flag that doesn't feature artwork by guitarist Greg Ginn's brother Ray Pettibon, the image of young Hank reaching a boiling point and destroying things fits perfectly with the destructive mood of the music found within. The band created the perfect soundtrack for frustration, alienation, and abandonment, and Colver captured those same emotions on film, showing just how in tune he was with the musicians and their vision.

September 2014

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