As most Rollins Band fans will know, the band line-up changed about 3 years ago. Rollins wanted a new, rawer sound and so totally changed the line-up for a bunch of hard rocking, younger musicians. Well, this album is not with them. This is old line-up Rollins at it's best.
This album was the major turning point for Rollins Band. The End Of Silence before it, which had them touring the world intensely for 2 years, was brilliant. But it was this album that shot Rollins Band into the limelight and into much critical acclaim overnight, and unfortunately for a small period as well.
The original Rollins Band sound was on the 'avante garde' side of rock, with Chris Hasket's highly distinguishable guitar melodies, and Sim Cain's crazy-ass jazz drum fills. Well, this album has all of that, buy for some reason it appealed to a much broader market. I think it might have been the sense of humour shining through on this one; songs like Liar (remember that?) and Icon, and even the hyper-anthem Shine at the end not only encapsulated Rollin's militant yet positive philosophies, but also marked a kind of quirky and comical irony that certainly wasn't there on The End Of Silence, and could possibly only be reckognised as mucking about between songs on the more obscure live stuff. Very early Rollins Band (Hot Animal Machine, Henrietta Collins & The Wife-Beating Child-Haters, etc) were very funny. There was this kind of relieving humour that made the intense 'Ex-singer of Black Flag' immediately become known for his individual muscial prowess, and it's as if it has been re-discovered on this album.
Rollins has always been known for his writings and his spoken-word performances alongside his musical career. But if you had to take just one album to encapsulate the original Rollins Band and what they were capable of, just one album - this should be it. It's intense, refreshing, funny and, above all, original.