Thursday, April 2, 2015
While his output with Black Flag is unquestionably a watershed influence on SoCal hardcore, Hank Rollins' most cohesive (and undeniably best) work is his 1988 debut LP by the eponymous Rollins Band. Seriously, Life Time may be the heaviest album ever. Fuck doom and Khanate, Otesanek and all that post metal shit - their efforts may be bleak and miserable but not heavy. Not like this. Causal case in point: track four "Lonely." The perfect bludgeoning opening (thanks to über-bassosaurus Andrew Weiss) is the most sadly minor key dirge-of-a-fuck of a song I have ever heard... even before Henry starts in on his cynical "I hate the world that I think hates me" lyrics. What is so great about Life Time is that I feel what Henry is going through. The nearly nine-minute lament of "Gun In Mouth Blues" absolutely redefined what music can actually be; I wrote a fucking book thanks to that song and would seriously encourage any listener to seriously take a check of one's life while listening to the final audal minutes of a determined suicidal souls' existence. The closer "Turned Out" is unrestrained id gone astray - the epitome of hardcore by the guy who defined it... I doubt there has ever been as much anger compressed into one song as on this fucker. My old school Texas Hotel CD has a couple bonus live tracks from Belgium - later remastered by the man himself but enjoy these raw cuts.