The other day I put an album on that I haven’t listened to in quite some time. That album was Weight by Rollins Band. I was thinking about the video for the song “Liar” and it made me realize I haven’t listened to that album in so long. So, as I put it on, I was immediately drawn into the album because of the first song, “Disconnect.” What a great song. It’s one of those tracks that hits the second “that moment” starts. The lyrics have a very introspective vibe to compliment the sort of jazz element mixed with some really great rock! Henry Rollins has always been a great frontman and lyricist but, also his vocals are beyond strong on this song/album. Live, this song is a banger. I had the pleasure of seeing Rollins Band back on their reunion shows in 2006 and I remember this song being one hell of a beast that night. Something else you might find interesting about this song is that it appeared on Beavis and Butthead twice, first in the 1995 episode “Top o’ the Mountain”, then as part of the episode “Shortcuts” in March 1997 (coincidentally the same month the band’s follow-up and very awesome Come In and Burn was released). Rollins Band is one of the few groups out there that I’d love see come back. With everything that has happened in the world, I know they would have it in them to write one hell of a great album.
Remember way back, when Tales From The Crypt was on? I know I do. It was such a fun show full of humor, horror and violence. The show was a pretty big success and of course out of that came a couple Tales From The Crypt movies. The first (and best one) was Demon Knight. The movie starred Billy Zane, William Sadler, Jada Pinkett and Thomas Haden Church. The real gem of the movie though was the soundtrack, which consisted of bands like Pantera, Machine Head, Megadeth, Rollins Band, Filter, Ministry and The Melvins to name a few. The choice to make the soundtrack mostly heavy music really gave the movie the right mood. Plus a soundtrack and movie like this in 1995, you knew you were gonna get something worthwhile.
The other day I was thinking about all the great live performances I’ve seen on TV. There were so many awesome moments on shows like Saturday Night Live, MTV, scattered awards shows like the Grammy’s, MTV Awards, American Music Awards, etc. The list goes on. I thought this category would be really fun to look back on these great performances and go back to a time when rock music was at the forefront of the world.
Let’s start this off with something out of left field. Back in 1997 on Saturday Night Live when Pamela Anderson was hosting, I believe it was to promote the movie Barb Wire, Rollins Band was the music guest. They performed “Starve” off the very underrated album Come In and Burn. The entire band absolutely crushed their performance and I’m sure left those in the audience a little scared.
Recently I had a song stuck in my head for a while and needed to listen to it. So I went to my CD shelves and grabbed the album, put it on my stereo and let the music overtake me. The album was Rollins Band’s Come In and Burn and the song was Starve. While listening to the album I had the feeling of needing more from Rollins. So naturally I went and grabbed all the other albums and put them on and my listening experience was fulfilled. But it really wasn’t. I wanted and still want more. Henry Rollins is one of the most prolific lyricists of the last 30 years. His words are poetic and have stories to tell. He’s always seemed to have something interesting and poignant to say from his time in Black Flag, Rollins Band, and his spoken word. There really is something missing from music world without Rollins behind the mic and on stage fronting a band. The guys that made up Rollins Band, Chris Haskett (guitar), Sim Cain (drums), Melvin Gibbs (bass) and Theo Van Rock (live sound engineer), really were a force to be reckoned with. These guys could flat out play. Their music backing Rollins vocals and words made something explosive and needed. And now more than ever, their style and abilities are much needed to help break this stagnant music that is happening right now.
1994 was quite a year not just for music, but also for movies. Brandon Lee’s final film The Crow was released and accompanying the film, was a tremendous soundtrack, featuring bands like Nine Inch Nails, The Cure, Stone Temple Pilots, Pantera, Rage Against The Machine and Helmet. One of the intriguing things about the album was the songs from Nine Inch Nails, Pantera, and Rollins Band were all covers. Nine Inch Nails did Joy Division’s “Dead Souls,” Pantera did Poison Idea’s “The Badge,” and Rollins Band did Suicide’s “Ghost Rider.” Also notable was the inclusion of Rage Against The Machine’s Darkness, which was actually a re-recorded b-side from their debut album. Stone Temple Pilots song “Big Empty” first appeared on the soundtrack and then was later added to their masterpiece Purple. The Cure’s song “Burn” is a wonderful song too, that radiates how great The Cure are.
The Crow is my all time favorite movie. I’ve seen it well over 100 times. There is something so perfectly dark about it and the music that is a part of it blends so well.