Title - 'Insufficient Necessities' [EP]
Artist - Chris Haskett
Original guitarist in the Rollins Band (1986 to 1997, and again for the band's reunion in 2006), Chris Haskett has also worked with Jah Wobble, Lloyd Cole, Utah Saints, Foetus, Cassandra Complex, Pigface, Reeves Gabrels, Elliott Sharp and David Bowie.
Chris grew up in Washington DC, but he he spent 1976-1977 in the UK where he was greatly inspired by the birth of the UK punk scene.
Soon after his return to the US he was recruited into seminal DC band, The Enzymes. Heavily inspired by such diverse influences as Sun Ra, The Art Ensemble of Chicago, The Damned and Captain Beefheart, the band existed at the fringes of what would eventually turn into DC Hardcore.
In 1982 he moved to Leeds to finish an undergraduate degree in Philosophy and whilst there he joined Dave Coleman aka Surfin Dave's surf/trash band.
Originally called the Beany T's, the band was rechristened the Absent Legends and played clubs in and around the UK, releasing one LP (In Search of a Decent Haircut on Crammed Discs in 1985). The Absent Legends disbanded the following year.
During a return visit to Washington DC in the Summer of 1986, Chris encountered longtime friend Henry Rollins. The two had been in regular contact since 1984 and often discussed musical collaboration.
The serendipitous meeting turned into an improvised plan. DC bassist Bernie Wandel and Absent Legends drummer Mick Green were brought in as rhythm section and the result was the album Hot Animal Machine.
The band racked up close to a thousand performances across the globe and were known for a high-intensity blend of raw energy and profound musicianship.
In 1994 they were nominated for a Grammy and performed live at the ceremony. This incarnation broke up in 1998 after finishing their tour on the Come In and Burn album.
Rollins kept the Rollins Band name with a new lineup of the band. The Rollins/Haskett/Cain/Gibbs lineup reformed briefly for the As the World Burns tour with Los Angeles rockers X.
Indeed, throughout the 1990s he played his own instrumental compositions live with various bands. Inspired by both Sonny Sharrock and the Grateful Dead, the instrumentation was usually guitar, bass, drums, drums.
1995 saw his first solo release Language, a mixture of angular, dense, difficult acoustic guitar (some in duet with ex-Birthday Party guitarist Rowland S. Howard) and musique concrete.
In 1997 he released the CD Nonfiction in collaboration with Dog Eat Dog drummer, Brandon Finley. The CD was a fusion of electric jazz and the go-go music that had been the soundtrack to his DC teen years.
2002 saw the release of Not Part Of The Solution which showcased a more conventional approach to the electric guitar and allowed his debt to his heroes such as Zappa and Beck to show through.
He reunited with Brandon Finley for 2011's Maybe Definitely (a play on Jeff Beck's title Definitely Maybe) and another foray into the jazz/go-go territory the two explored on Nonfiction.
In 2014 he released The Courage Born of Conflicting Terrors in collaboration with Nick Enfield and Mirna Sodre.
The next Chris Haskett CD is a 4-track EP entitled Insufficient Necessities (coming out November 15th, 2019 via DenCity Records) and features his local Nijmegen band - Johan Jansen, Collin van Gerven and Ton Massen.
1. 'Dodge 'Em'
2. 'Ivy City'
4. 'Going Back'
Tonally, this EP is more a collective gathering of funk, rock, and jazz instrumentals that kinda follows the path taken by this last two albums and kicks off as much with the at-first stuttering to find its hold, but then free flowing into a quite brilliantly funky guitar and bass line 'Dodge 'Em'.
That's backed seamlessly by the RHCP-lite vibe of 'Ivy City' with the next track on this vibrant new EP being the frenetically controlled 'Hoof-Deee!'
The 4-track EP then comes to a close with the ticking clock backbeat of the mid-tempo, funky R&B hipsway of 'Going Back.'
In truth, it's got to be the most "user-friendly" and conventional release Chris has ever released, which isn't saying much, I guess, but he definitely aims, swings and nestles himself nicely in the whole instrumental rock angularity found within the Jeff Beck world; which is never a bad thing.