October 16, 2021


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Bad Brain ‘Rock for Light’: Album Review

3 min read

It’s harder to think of a musical genre that carries the youth of the past than hardcore punk, which was built to have a short shelf life in almost every way. And even in that context, many bands that were far inferior to the legendary Bad Brain – who cast a long shadow over the career of each hardcore band and many hard rock, as well as Beastie Boys – are more familiar.

Why? For starters, although the group was one of the first truly hardcore bands and arguably the best, they jumped on the bandwagon, becoming the only four black dudes in Washington D.C. to sing their burning hardcore purely reggae songs (played extraordinarily well for American musicians). Yet their 1-2 minute long bursts of attitude such as “Attitude” “Forbidden in DC,” “Big Take Over,” “We Don’t” and “How much less punk can get?” Define sound and anything by other hardcore Mount Olympus, Minor Threat, formed after a bad brain and influenced by them.

Like many genre bands, Bad Brain Music exceeds that genre, and with the exception of certain songs, their albums never captured how explosive and efficient they were: their early songs were lightning-fast but complex and difficult to play, multiple tempo changes And complex start-stop rhythms. And musician HR (aka Joseph Hudson) was as unpredictable as the music, an unelected front man who could backflip on stage or dive into the crowd at any second; Bad Brain is one of the most powerful live bands I’ve ever seen.

Yet they had a self-destructive continuity, often coming from HR প্রাথমিক primarily the fact that whenever they were on the verge of success, he would leave, sometimes taking his brother, Powerhouse drummer Earl Hudson with him. In 1983 they produced their second album, “Rock for Light”, which took place after the attention of Carr’s frontman Rick Osesek; 1 again happened when they reformed and published the more metallic “I Against I”; Again back in the early nineties after they released the album “Speed”; And again in 1995 after they signed with Epic Records and especially BC Boys listed them to open a tour for them. On the first date, HR refuses to get off the bus and then attacks the band’s longtime manager. (They later signed with Madonna’s Maverick label; it didn’t work either.)

This, of course, also means that the catalog of the group is always a noise. Their first album with a hugely influential self-title was only available on cassette year after year, and others were released on indie labels that either faced business challenges or became frustrated with just trying to promote a band that was constantly on the verge of breaking up. As a result, their music is nowhere near as well-known as the hundreds of groups they influence.

All of this is a long lead that goes without saying that, almost 40 years after the release of the original cassette-only album, the group has finally acquired the rights to their classic recordings (except for “II Against I”, which is apparently still in the wreckage of the once powerful SST records). And rebuilt versions of them have begun to re-emerge এবং and so far, they sound better than ever. The band’s first two albums প the Epenamus cassette and the Ocek-produced “Rock for Light” প্রয়োজনthe most needed of a sonic overhaul, and they benefited from it: His live peak came very close to the explosive power. The two albums have a lot of overlap (several songs from the first were re-recorded for the second), but you can’t go wrong. The campaign will run in the coming months with “Speed” and two live albums – one from the group’s early career and the other capturing them at a live peak in early 1987, just before the second split.

Listening to Bad Brain in 2021 might sound like Czech Berry – you appreciate and understand greatness, but it has been so absorbed in the language of rock music for so long that the initial push and impact has faded. But if you are not already among the faithful, prepare for the burning of the four-decade-old glory.

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