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Henry Rollins - Think Tank (Cover Artwork)

Henry Rollins

Henry Rollins: Think TankThink Tank (1998)
Universal Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:


Contributed by: ChrisGorman2ChrisGorman2
(others by this writer | submit your own)

I never appreciated spoken word performers until I heard punks like Jello Biafra and Henry Rollins do it. It always bored me, some of it was funny, but whatever, I wasn't into it. It didn't challenge me, it didn't make me think about anything differently. Rollins and Biafra changed all that. "Think .
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I never appreciated spoken word performers until I heard punks like Jello Biafra and Henry Rollins do it. It always bored me, some of it was funny, but whatever, I wasn't into it. It didn't challenge me, it didn't make me think about anything differently. Rollins and Biafra changed all that. "Think Tank" is the first spoken word CD I owned, and it is a treasure to me. Rollins has such an easy flow, a penchant for expressing his thoughts that few people have. He is the man.

This double disc is taken from a couple of shows, the first disc being a recording from the House of Blues in Chicago. This disc was meant to be more anecdotal, a chance for Rollins to just vent about all the annoying little things in life that piss him off. He starts off the rant-fest with a tale of airport woe, and his struggle to actually make it to Chicago in time for the show. Other stand-out bits include a diatribe against mind-numbing TV fair like "Friends" and "Baywatch", a theory about killing death-row inmates on television to scare off terrorists (somewhat prophetic in 1997, when he recorded it), and a really good case for becoming gay. He finishes the disc off with a quick lounge rendition of the Rollins Band classic "Liar".

Disc two is the better of the pair in my opinion, but you have to have patience for it. This disc was recorded in Australia in 1997, and it is devoted to more drawn-out type stories. While he does retain his sense of humor like on disc 1, he also gets serious, like on the track "Marius". Marius was an Aussie teenager stricken with leukemia, and a major fan of Rollins. Rollins silences the crowd with his recount of his meeting with Marius, and of the pain the boy was going through. He also offers up a few good tour stories, and a hilarious bit at the end about his run-in with a "rock n' roll" throat doctor.

I have found that this is one of the best discs to have along on a road trip, as I find myself getting so engaged with Rollins' stories, and no longer noticing the passage of time. The humor is biting, the wit is sharp, and his social commentary is dead on. Pick this up, and enjoy.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Christiano (November 25, 2006)

great review, great cd

wyzo (April 9, 2002)

he was amazing in Ames recently, he spoke for about 2, 2 and a half hours and I think everyone could have stayed for more. Hilarious, and intersting.

wyzo

Anonymous (April 5, 2002)

Hey chris, excellent review. You should post more. ont he Subject of hank, i got one of his more comedic releases lately, absolutely classic.

Anonymous (April 4, 2002)

I agree, there is something about they way Rollins tells his stories that makes him very gripping and engulfing. Time flies. I downloaded Get In The Van Spoken Word and I found myself hanging on every word. Maybe it's because I'm a major fan of his and have a strong interest in Black Flag and I love their music, especially Rollins Era. I own the new DVD and I about laughed my vocal chords out several times. Then, finally, at the Troubadour Show where the speaker blew he came down to the audience which was mainly empty by now and talked with some of us. I must say, he's one of the coolest people I've ever met and easily the coolest singer I've ever met, and I've met 10 punk/hardcore legends! I talked with him about weight lifting and what his workouts were. He gave me one major tip that was simple and very true- pain, more pain= faster results, so far that has been true. I'm ordering Get In The Van the book right now and I can't wait to hear a new Rollins album- Nice took a while to grow on me, but now it is one of my favorite discs. People are wayyyyyy too harsh on Henry and he deserves far more respect than "fans" have given him, especially during his Black Flag years, reading his story's about those little skinhead bastards angers me just reading it.

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