Rollins Band / Henry Rollins

Hot Animal Machine/Life Time

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If you're a newcomer to the Rollins Band and are looking to purchase the band's early recordings in one fell swoop, then you're in luck -- in 2003, the Recall label reissued four Rollins Band albums as two double-disc compilations. The Hot Animal Machine/Life Time set catches Rollins immediately after Black Flag's split in 1987, and for anyone questioning if he could carry on without Greg Ginn at the time, Hot Animal Machine silenced any doubters. Instead of sticking closely to the murky, Sabbath-like riffs of latter-day Flag, the first two tracks, "Black and White" and "Followed Around," are speedy punk rockers, while "A Man and a Woman" is almost comparable to experimental jazz fusion at times. Life Time, on the other hand, sees the debut of the Rollins Band that listeners all know and love, as former Gone members Andrew Weiss (bass) and Sim Cain (drums) comprise the new rhythm section, joining the only holdovers from the Animal sessions -- Rollins and guitarist Chris Haskett. Fugazi's Ian MacKaye serves as producer, and keeps things as close to the group's live sound as possible -- standouts include the venomous album opener, "Burned Beyond Recognition," and the raging "Turned Out."

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