After years of toiling in relative obscurity, being a ghetto superstar of the hardcore world, Hank and his crew are released on a world that was ill-prepared for such brutal honesty and power. This is the Rollins Band at its tightest and groovingest…Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers) said of this album; “The Rollins Band stands next to a mountain and pound it to dust.” What an understatement – 72 minutes of Henry daring you (and himself) to do or be something…while crushing all who stand in his way with typically searing, sincere vocals and pounding rhythms. The Rollins Band was a well kept secret in the hardcore world prior to 1992, live shows that were pure Darwinism, weeding out the weak and frail of body and mind, making stronger those who survived, there was never a more deserved break-out than the Rollins Band. Thanks Hank!
UK reissue of 1992 album that’s unavailable in the US. Remastered by Henry Rollins, the first disc includes one bonus track, ’Next Time’. The initial limited copies of the album include a bonus disc pulling together studio & live material including extended jams of previously unreleased material. Bonus disc tracks, ’Ghost Rider’, ’Earache My Eye’ (live in Sydney May 22, 1990), ’Do It’ (live in Lyon March 2, 1992), ’Crazy Lover’ (live April 25, 1992), ’Low Self Opinion’ (live April 26, 1992), ’Tearing’ (live April 26, 1992), ’Another Life’ (live April 26, 1992), ’Lie Lie Lie’ (edit 718), ’Move Right In’ (live)/’Move Right In’ (set 2) (live April 25, 1992), ’Jam’ (with Vernon Reid) (April 24, 1992) & ’Jam’ (with Butthole Surfers) (Lollapallooza ’91). 2002.
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This is simply a jaw-drapping, neck-breaking, epic, infinite record, not to mention the cataclysm of ALL tracks.
Most of them are +7mins but you dont get tired listening to four great musicians doing great music. Its sophisticated groove-jazz-hardcore-punk-blues.
From the first notes of my first hearing of this this disc, I became hooked on Rollins Band. The first three songs just pull you in and build. There’s some great playing on this record, and the whole effect is so visceral and genuine, it makes you want to scream along with it. If you like heavy, soulful, powerful music, listen to this disc. It’s not for everyone, but this is one of my favorite albums of all time.
I hope the rock world doesn’t forget what a lightning bolt this album was “back in the day.” Released a little after Nirvana’s _Nevermind_ and Soundgarden’s _Badmotorfinger_, it was just about as much a defining piece of the “grunge” movement as these two classics. It was also Rollins’s first money-maker, as it was put out by a major label, giving he and his band the production values that they had always lacked in the indie world.
For these reasons, this puts _The End of Silence_ at a thrilling precipice, the one between Rollins’s manic catharsis of his demons and his success to come. In a few words, Rollins’s paranoia and rage never sounded as genuine after this. He put out a few decent albums after this (those which have the same nucleus as this version of the band–Sim Cain and Chris Haskett: _Weight_ and _Come in and Burn_), but he never sounded as RAW again. And punk underground values being what they are and were, this is the best-recorded document of the truly wild Rollins.
This is also when his band got absolutely tight, going between intense riff-rockers like “Grip” and mind-melting jams like the incomparably angry and schizoid “Obscene.” The band only got better musically from here, as evidenced on the previously-mentioned releases (and the band is the main reason to listen to the latter-day Rollins before he fired his original players). Here, on _The End of Silence_, though, we have the complete emergence of a world-class “rage rock” act, full of monstrous chops and full-tilt out-of-control angst on Rollins’s part.
So this was the more or less plain-spoken classic of the beginning of the grunge era. Where Kurdt used Rimbaudian poetic indirection and Chris Cornell & Co. opted for Sabbathy apocalypse, Rollins just came out and screamed about what frustrated him (“I’m so confused/ Can’t find the line/ Between what I use and abuse”–”Obscene”). He continues this approach often to this day, but it’s hard to believe it any longer. It probably just keeps him in his penthouse for another year to put out an album where he’s toeing that line. I can still listen to _The End of Silence_ and believe that he’s preaching the angry blues here to save his life. Since the music matches this sentiment from start to finish, it felt revolutionary in ‘91. Now, well, it’s indispensable for those times when you just gotta punch a wall, right up there with _Master of Puppets_ and precious few other heavy albums.
This, the fourth studio session for Rollins band (Hot Animal Machine, Lifetime and Hard Volume) is a true turning point, not only for Rollins, but for music as well. This album is so hard and sooo heavy that it hurts, but that is the idea. Rollins gets through the past in a series of cathartic romps that are both lyrically and sonically awesome; a rare occurence. From Low Self Opinion (the song that should have gotten the same attention as “smells like teen spirit”), to Just like you (the most scathing repudiation of a parent ever written) this album is simply perfect. I have called it the single most important event in my life and I stand by that statement. The jams will rock you hard, the lyrics will both frighten and transport you to another level, while also making you reassess your life to date. With such potent lyrics as “see me, put yourself in my place; be me, put my eyes in your face. Maybe then you’ll see, why this place terrifies me.” and “You and me, pathetic we cling, we think that we’re free. Ugly, you and me, you see, you see, the REAL me.” it is hard to ignore this album and even harder to reconcile the fact that it IS largely ignored (as of two years ago Rollins still hadn’t seen a profit from this one). Pick up The End of Silence today, it will change your life.Paul M