Rollins Band - _Get Some Go Again_
by: Paul Schwarz (
Rollins has certainly progressed from the dark, near-suicidal soundscapes of late eighties Rollins Band product like the aptly titled _Hard Volume_, and has distanced himself from the gritty, bitter taste of 1997's _Come in and Burn_, but still (though it is, at least initially, less harsh) _Get Some Go Again_ lacks none of either the intensity or poignancy we have come to expect from Rollins. Ditching all his former band-mates as well as long-time production helmsman Theo van Rock, Rollins has resurrected his "Band" half by recruiting LA trio Mother Superior while he himself took personal charge of production duties. The result is less subtle but ultimately more solidly rocking than the likes of _Come in and Burn_ or _End of Silence_, seeming to roughly sandwich itself between the rock spirit of earlier material, showcasing Hank's undying passion for classic bands like Black Sabbath or Thin Lizzy, and the calculated grooving of _Weight_. The change of faces is not completely unnoticeable, but what is initially surprising is actually how alike the old and new "Band"s are. Likewise, though Rollins' lyrical delivery utilises some different tactics, there is the same focus on his self-improvement/strength-in-oneself philosophy. This time he has, however, allowed more of the sharp-minded maturity of his poetry, writing and particularly spoken-word work to permeate his delivery and penning of Rollins Band lyrics. Closing and unlisted studio-jam "LA Money Train" epitomises this. With MC5's Wayne Kramer joining them in the studio, the Mother Superior trio band flex their improvisational muscle in this subdued groover while the man himself delivers a scalpel sharp eulogy on LA life, with the skill of the top-class satirist which he has ever been, though previously he reserved it for his non-musical endeavours. On the flipside, _GSGA_ is also a direct, pumping rock 'n' roll record, a fact no more evident than on the storming cover of Thin Lizzy's "Are You Ready?", where the band are joined by former 'Lizzy guitarist Scott Gorham. Juxtaposing muscle and mouth have always been what I found most endearing about Rollins Band, and _GSGA_ succeeds in doing this while also displaying more sides of Rollins than any other single product of his that I have encountered, be it book, album or spoken word collection. With an abundance of great lyrics, rocking musical moments and overall crushing power, _GSGA_ is a well-balanced and forceful statement of the enduring relevance of Rollins Band, and a damn good album in its own right.
(article published 5/25/2000)
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