Bad Brains. Forget about music genres. If there ever was a band that fuses together multiple Rock genres and flips the bird at the status quo simultaneously, it is Bad Brains. When I’m in the mood to listen to a band that plays from the gut, the heart… Bad Brains. Punk Rock, check. Hardcore Punk, check. Reggae, check. Hard Rock, um, check. Some flashes of Thrash? Bad Brains can. Oh, don’t forget about some Funk in the rhythm either… Bad Brains will deliver. Ska and Heavy Metal… it’s been part of Bad Brains diverse musical identity as well. If you are totally new to Bad Brains and all of this sounds confusing, need not worry, Bad Brains is the antidote to stagnant music listening. In other words, you are never going to hear of or find another band like them… and if you do, it would have to be a cover band of Bad Brains, which in the end would never come remotely close to the original.
Since Bad Brains released their debut, self titled album in 1982, there has been untold “flavors of the month” in Heavy, Extreme, Alternative and Punk Music. Since 1982, there has only been one Bad Brains. To span three decades while releasing eight ultra legit studio albums is monument. (Granted, their 2002 release I & I Survived was/is an instrumental dub album, with H.R. not present on vocals. Regardless, it shall always remain as a unique musical representation of/from Bad Brains). Think of it this way, it is easier to span three decades and release fifteen albums, all the while just two or three are justified. As I see and hear it, Bad Brains has accomplished what the Beatles, Ramones, The Who and Led Zeppelin, (to name more than a few), before them already had… an astoundingly identifiable style of music, which sound is impossible to confuse with any other band.
Bad Brains will forever be regarded as a Hardcore Punk originator and rightfully so. Only at the end of the day, what really matters is the overwhelming uniqueness that flows from their songs hot as magma, ultimately creating a cooling down – experience in music listening, which once again gets ramped up from the Bad Brains ride you embark on… a Bad Brains trip never stays the same. Sound cool? Bad Brains is just that. In the sad event you have never listened to Bad Brains, there is still time to redeem your hijacked and commercialized, MTV and/or VH1 soul. I picked the Bad Brains album – Quickness, as my listening choice today. Quickness may not be heralded as the greatest Bad Brains album made, regardless, I am not into any unfair comparisons to their iconic, self titled, debut album either. Quickness is a listen into just how an album can encompass so many great qualities of heavy, hard and at times softer song structure. This fantastic Bad Brains album was, (and always is), a slap to my forehead reminder that a band does not have to sell out sports stadiums and win multiple Grammy Awards, in order to be appreciated and accepted as realistically legendary, genuine, unapologetically diverse and damn right hard & heavy.
Bad Brains – Quickness was released in 1989, on Caroline Records.
Bad Brains – Quickness Track Listing:
Voyage Into Infinity
With The Quickness
Gene Machine/Don’t Bother Me
Don’t Blow Bubbles
The Prophets Eye
The original Bad Brains lineup:
H.R. – lead vocals
Dr. Know – guitar
Darryl Jenifer – bass
Earl Hudson – drums