If you can't wait for a shock

Issue 

If you can't wait for a shock

Electro Convulsive Therapy
Rollins Band
Imago through BMG
Reviewed by Nick Fredman

Henry Rollins, the Nietzschean superman of rock and roll, and his band have released a live album recorded in 1992. It's for the Japanese market but available on import here.

A Rollins gig is an intense experience. A large, well-muscled, shaven-headed, shirtless tatooed man screams at you, backed by a very loud hard rock/thrash band.

This recording captures the mood well. It includes songs such as "You didn't need", "Hard" and "What have I got", which take up the Rollins recurring lyrical concerns — that is, how alienated and despairing he is ("I've got a heart that hates/I've got hands that like to break"), and how "hard" he is ("I'm that hard man/So good to find/I'm that hard man/With an iron mind").

As well, there are two long, improvised medleys, made up of various covers, including a funky version of the Beastie Boys' "Gratitude" and Velvet Underground's "I'm gonna move right in".

Although he's a rather silly and self-important man, Rollins' music can be entertaining and even cathartic. Recommended for those who can't wait for the Rollins band to come here next for a dose of electro-shock treatment.