"Nice" by Rollins Band on iTunes

12 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

The cover of Rollins Band’s 2001 album, Nice, is an obvious gag about the record industry's shameless materialism, but one wonders why Henry Rollins felt he need to make the joke. The set of political and aesthetic principles to which Rollins has adhered for decades hadn't changed, nor had he compromised his art. Nice is nearly as punishing as the early Rollins Band albums, but that’s a good thing. He wasn't making commercial rock, but by embracing some of his more accessible influences, he made music that's more fun. Following the appearance of MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer on the previous album, the influence of Detroit hard rock is prominent here. Judging from “Gone Inside the Zero,” “What’s the Matter Man,” and “Stop Look and Listen,” Rollins has been revisiting his old copies of Raw Power and Cat Scratch Fever. It’s equally refreshing to hear him turning to James Brown (“Up for It”) and Bo Diddley (“We Walk Alone”), but the most singular song here is patently Rollins: “Going Out Strange” matches any track from The End of Silence for gut-grinding physicality.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The cover of Rollins Band’s 2001 album, Nice, is an obvious gag about the record industry's shameless materialism, but one wonders why Henry Rollins felt he need to make the joke. The set of political and aesthetic principles to which Rollins has adhered for decades hadn't changed, nor had he compromised his art. Nice is nearly as punishing as the early Rollins Band albums, but that’s a good thing. He wasn't making commercial rock, but by embracing some of his more accessible influences, he made music that's more fun. Following the appearance of MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer on the previous album, the influence of Detroit hard rock is prominent here. Judging from “Gone Inside the Zero,” “What’s the Matter Man,” and “Stop Look and Listen,” Rollins has been revisiting his old copies of Raw Power and Cat Scratch Fever. It’s equally refreshing to hear him turning to James Brown (“Up for It”) and Bo Diddley (“We Walk Alone”), but the most singular song here is patently Rollins: “Going Out Strange” matches any track from The End of Silence for gut-grinding physicality.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5

13 Ratings

An over looked album

IMPDOOM777,

This album from Rollins Band has to be one of their best, everything is so well put together and the sound is tight. This album is great because there are an amount of different styles that this album showcases. For me one of the songs that caught my ear was "Whats The Matter Man" which is showcasesd in Tony Hawks Pro Skater 3. Many of you who are part of that generation know what I'm talking about. haha But anyways the beat is driven heavy with the snare and the guitars sound great. Other great songs are "Up For It" and "Your Number Is One" because they are both pretty funky and have great beats. "Hangin' Around" is a track that is kinda slow and grungy a bit. Overall I could let this album play all the way through and not want to skip any of the tracks because all the songs are catchy and bring a good taste to your ear pallette. This album is a must for any Henry Rollins or Rollins Band fan.

the best one kids...

tadyo,

Rollins is an interesting character...he admits that he is not a traditional rock singer in the sense of wiggling his hips and singing catchy hooks. That being said, Rollin's style is akin to that of Bob Dylan if he was on testosterone injections. In a way, Rollins sort of talk sings...or in this case yells-sings. None the less his timing, lyrics and maturity come through nice and soulfully on this album. You can really here the fusion of funk and old school rock in his band as well. Rollins is someone who when he puts his mind to something, he gets it done. On this album you not only see the fruition and maturation of his infamousstyle and tenacity, but also a perfect intergration of his influences paired with a well done produciton.

About Rollins Band

Almost immediately after the legendary punk/hardcore band Black Flag called it quits in 1987, lead singer Henry Rollins issued his first solo releases, Hot Animal Machine and Drive By Shooting (the latter an EP credited to Henrieta Collins & the Wifebeating Childhaters), featuring longtime friend Chris Haskett on guitar, bassist Bernie Wandel, and drummer Mick Green. But Rollins missed being part of a true band, hence the formation of the Rollins Band. Similar in style to the Flag's latter direction (Sabbath-esque riff-heavy hardcore metal), the Rollins Band enlisted ex-Gone members Sim Cain (drums) and Andrew Weiss (bass), while Haskett remained onboard. The group quickly made a name for themselves with their explosive concerts and nonstop touring, as soundman Theo Van Rock signed on as well (Van Rock's contributions were so great that he was often credited as a fifth member of the band). A steady stream of releases followed: 1988's Life Time (produced by Fugazi's Ian MacKaye), 1989's Do It and Hard Volume, as well as the 1990 live set Turned On. 1990 also saw the release of Fast Food for Thought, a one-off experimental side project by Rollins and Weiss, dubbed Wartime. But the Rollins Band caught their big break when Perry Farrell invited them to join his inaugural Lollapalooza festival tour in the summer of 1991 (which also included such acts as Nine Inch Nails, Living Colour, Ice-T, Siouxse & the Banshees, and headliner Jane's Addiction). Opening up the day's multi-band concert proved to be quite a challenge -- playing in the baking early afternoon heat while concert-goers were still arriving -- but the thousands who had never even heard of the Rollins Band were now well aware of the group's gripping, thought-provoking heavy rock. The buzz on the band was growing and their next release, 1992's The End of Silence (their first for Imago Records), proved to be their best-selling album thus far, spawning such popular MTV videos as "Low Self Opinion" and "Tearing," while Henry Rollins began appearing regularly on the network as a guest VJ or on specialty programs. Weiss left the band after the tour in support of End of Silence wrapped up (later turning up on releases by the Butthole Surfers, Helios Creed, Yoko Ono, Pigface, and Ween) and was replaced by New York City funk bassist Melvin Gibbs, recommended by Living Colour's Vernon Reid. The Rollins Band's 1994 release Weight proved to be the biggest hit of their career, due to MTV's heavy rotation of the striking Anton Corbijn-directed clip for "Liar" (which saw Rollins wearing different costumes and, at several points, covered from head to toe in red paint). A memorable appearance at Woodstock '94 followed shortly thereafter as the band continued their relentless touring schedule. 1997 saw the release of the band's debut for the massive DreamWorks label, Come in and Burn, but stagnation began setting in and Rollins dismissed his bandmates shortly after the conclusion of its supporting tour. Haskett later played on David Bowie's Hours, as well as continuing a solo career, while the others showed up on other artists' records as well. The stopgap live set, Live in Australia 1990, was issued in 1999 as Henry Rollins assembled a whole new Rollins Band lineup consisting of L.A. rockers Mother Superior. 2000's Get Some Go Again was the new lineup's first album together. ~ Greg Prato

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