Sunday, 16 December 2012
Although I can remember the how and when of me getting into Rollins Band (buying the Liar/Disconnect single on a sunny day in London in 1994), I struggle to remember why. Probably something I'd read somewhere - 1994 was around the time that Rollins was closest to whatever the alternative equivalent of mainstream is. There must be a proper name for it; "almost-but-not-quite-totally-obscure" doesn't trip off the tongue so easily.
Whilst Rollins generally referred to himself as being one tenth of Rollins Band, there's no arguing with the fact that it is his throaty bellows and insuppressible rage that strings together the Rollins Band back catalogue. Starting out as a clear progression from the unhinged alt punk of latter day Black Flag, they went on to to play progressively darker and heavier blues-tinged rock, occasionally veering off into doomy Swans-esque avant garde territory. The arrival of Melvin Gibbs on bass brought in a few jazz-funk themes, before an all new band took on a more straight forward rock direction. And throughout it all, the intensity and disgust of Rollins is the constant that makes it a cohesive whole.
Also, it couldn't really be Rollins Band without Rollins. That wouldn't make sense.