The word legendary is generally thrown about and applied to bands that often don’t deserve such high accolades but in the case of Washington DC Rasta-punks Bad Brains it’s utterly deserved. While their early recordings gave birth to American hardcore and inspired everyone from Black Flag and Minor Threat to crank up the speed, their mid-eighties rockier records helped pave the way for alternative rock in the nineties and their fusion of reggae and rock is as ground-breaking now as it was then.
Reunited with the original line-up, the much anticipated return of Bad Brains is finally upon us with the release of ‘Build A Nation‘, their first new album in over ten years and the return of the original debut-album ‘Rock For Light‘ line-up. Here, the band try to re-create the ballistic energy of their debut in both sound and style. With Beastie Boy Adam Yauch on hand to capture the band’s raw energy in the studio, tracks like ‘Give Thanks And Praises‘ and ‘Jah People Make The World Go Round‘ are fast, furious and the result of band very much on it and enjoying every bit of their music.
Singer H.R. has taken a far more relaxed vocal style, exchanging the crazed aggression and energy of before with a relaxed, echo-laden style that suits reggae tracks such as ‘Jah Love‘ but makes a strange contrast on the punk tracks.
That said, this is a worthy comeback that serves as a great reminder of this classic band. Don’t miss their London show at The Astoria in October 16th.