This is the benchmark for American punk music.
The hardcore movement with Minor Threat, Black Flag and Dead Kennedys set a high point for creativity and genre in heavy music, but the debut from Bad Brains blasts through reggae, punk and hardcore with an unapologetic edge and brilliance.
The complexity given through the incorporation of reggae alongside their origins as a fusion band, Bad Brains took the relatively new sounds of hardcore punk and turned up the intensity and speed to new levels courtesy of the epic rhythm section comprising Darryl Jenifer and Earl Hudson. Of course, there are the caustic howls of iconoclast vocalist H.R gliding over the searing riffs of Dr Know.
This is 34 minutes of high-speed bliss, and wastes no time by inducing whiplash from the opener, ‘Sailin’ On’. The pace only sporadically ceases in the reggae intervals like the hollowed out ‘I Love Jah’ or ‘Leaving Babylon’ which beautifully contrast the non-stop assault that is the straight-edge mayhem of ‘P.M.A’ or ‘Right Brigade’. This is initially disorienting, but with 40 years now passed, the time has proven this step in the genre to be as bold as it is incredible.
This is a cornerstone of hardcore and is a perfect record.
‘Bad Brains’ is available in the Store now. #badbrains #vinyl #hardcore