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Henry Rollins' New Band Carries Same Big Shtick

Pop Capsules

May 02, 1988|DON WALLER

If staring into The Void for an hour leaves you with a relentless cold fury, a taste for ritualized pain and a head-held-high righteousness about it all, you probably would have enjoyed the Henry Rollins Band's local debut at Club Lingerie on Saturday. Truthfully, it wasn't much different from the big shtick that the punk-rocker-turned-poet carried around as the lead singer of Black Flag for seven years.

Yes, he's got a new borderline punk/metal/fusion backing trio; heavy on the barre chords, soggy on the sub-accents. Yes, he's got a new independent album ("Life Time") of all new material. Yes, the band sounds just like--too much like--the record. No, there really isn't one mega-def, "instant classic" number in the bunch. No, he still hasn't figured out how to communicate within the context of a slow song, either.

OK, so variety, dynamics and s-e-x aren't really part of the picture here. (This is The Void, remember.) Our stripped-to-the-waist, tattooed love boy \o7 does \f7 have an arresting stage presence, sings more expressively than most of his competition and writes tight, albeit repetitive, lyrics. All of which mean something--when you're staring into The Void.

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