» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum

October 13, 2004
One of the intrinsic problems with most avid followers of any pursuit is that, with time, it becomes increasingly easy to get lost in that pursuit. Take music, for example. As a listener's collection grows their tastes invariably change, leading them in new directions. After a time, from the remote vantage point at which they have arrived, it becomes difficult to look back and see all the details of the musical landscape across which they have come. As new music comes into focus, old favorites are forgotten. The same is true for any pursuit, be it books or film, and it is perhaps only the joy of rediscovery that outweighs new discoveries in sheer thrill factor. This column is dedicated to all of those past infatuations, those forgotten favorites from which we can still, if we remember, derive so much pleasure.


ARTIST: Rollins Band
LABEL: A Texas Hotel release

I have plenty of Dusty Favorites. These are the albums or books or videos that I love but which just haven't been in my play rotation as of late. Then there are those picks that I really have forgotten about. As I was recently combing through my compact disc rack, I caught glimpse of a jewel case that I thought had been long since misplaced or sold to a used music outlet. I plucked the dull, scratched relic out of its slot and began to recall the memories that went along with it; how much I was musically impressed at such a young age by hearing the recording. It may sound strange, but Rollins Band's Do It was my gateway to a whole new region of music.

I started out with buying Weight as a junior higher. "Liar" was a hit on the local major rock station and I thought, Henry Rollins is so angry and insane... I love it. I backtracked to The End of Silence (their 1992 release, two years prior to Weight) and found more of the same high-powered alterno-metal that made Weight a commercial success. Do It - along with Rollins's work in Black Flag - was never a commercial success, nor was it ever to be considered alterno-metal. For Rollins Band and for any musician who owes Henry Rollins a sliver of musical debt, Do It should be the gold standard.

Do It is largely a live album. Sometimes listeners shrink away from the 'live' pretense and often there is a good reason to stay away. However, this is not a thin, weakly assembled recording.

The first three songs of the album are outtakes from the recording session of another Rollins Band release, Life Time. Produced by Ian MacKaye, "Do It," "Move Right In," and "Next Time" are exemplary slices of true underground punk rock/hard rock/blues. From the beginning of the first track - a five second intro of Rollins's throat-searing demon yell - the table is set for outright balls-out, vein-popping rock'n'roll. Throughout the three studio and twelve live cuts, Rollins plays drill sergeant to Chris Haskett (guitar), Andrew Weiss (bass) and Sim Cain (drums) as the responding militants.

"Move Right In" was a song that I was particularly blown away by back in my music consuming infancy. The track begins like any other, with a repetitive snarling blues guitar riff and solid backing from chugging bass and drums. About halfway through, Weiss briskly walks a bluesy bass line to Cain's cut time tempo to throw everything into a bit of a punk rock blues frenzy. Directly after this segment Weiss throws down one of the funkiest slap bass solos ever recorded and Cain follows suit with a simple yet memorable break beat, featuring a bass drum rhythm that even Bonzo would think was dope.

The rest of the album was recorded live in the fall of 1987, all over Europe (Holland, Belgium, England, and Germany). Extraordinary intensity echoes throughout an hour of instrumentation and hearty yells, but also within the singer's insight between songs. During "Joe Is Everything, Everything Is Joe (Intro)" a foreign MC introduces Rollins and his band with great familiarity and after inquiring as to why Henry shaved his head, Rollins replies, "It's more symbolic for the pain and suffering that goes on in the world. Each hair that was cut is a life... a soul... a heart and a mind." The MC quickly chimes in, "OK, let's have some music, man," with a comical apathy.

A few tracks later, as Rollins introduces "Wreck Age," he speaks as one that has suffered, explaining the loss of friends and family that prompted the following lyrics. With a playlist featuring songs such as "Lonely," "Thousand Times Blind," and "Gun in Mouth Blues" the titles and music speak as a consciousness in and of themselves, with the aggressive tension of instrument pounding further leaving nothing to ambiguity.

Although Do It was never met with much critical acclaim or sales success, it is an album that I regard as essential for any punk rock starter. While there isn't an overwhelming emphasis on politics or insubordination (per every other punk rocker), the album is still a social document, and is likewise a breach between the fuzzy classifications of straight rock 'n' roll and punk rock. If none of these things start your engine, hopefully the fact that Henry Rollins is a notable rock figure will make the album a collectable and Recognized Favorite for you as well.

Josh Zanger
Joshua Ian Zanger, a native of rural Chicago, rocks many a world with his writing, style, and generally sweet aroma.

See other articles by Josh Zanger.



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