CD Review: Bad Brains

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Bad Brains Build a Nation (Megaforce)

Since There have been a few attempts at combining the

Early formulators of hardcore and Bad Brains,

Even the band's peculiar genre tag - hardcore/reggae - seems weird. This evinces both how talented and innovative they were two decades ago and how difficult it is to combine sounds from two different continents.

Brains have lost none of their intensity,

Nor have their methods haven't changed much, the band remaining content to follow a reggae song with a hardcore song with another hardcore song. And like before, what unifies the record isn't an amalgamation of sonics - but the heart-pounding, anti-establishment energy inherent in both D.C. hardcore and Kingston reggae.

It sounds like Columbus trio Hugs & Kisses, Black Flag and the Kinky Wizards (the fictional skate-punk group from High Fidelity.)

If you ever got your hands on a limited-edition Bad Brains cassette - or one of the digital re-releases that have emerged since the early '80s - you'll notice first that the production is better.

The guitars are cleaner, the sound is more compressed, and peculiar vocal stylings often hidden in the bands early albums become a focal point. Echoes, reverb, rounds and multipart harmonies pepper "Expand Your Soul," "

Grade: B+ Download: "Give Thanks and," "Jah People Make World," "Jah Love"