|Today’s album is from 1983, and was actually an album that occurred right before band broke up-well, the 1st time the band broke up anyway. From Washington DC….
Bad Brains – Rock for Light
Listen to it here: http://grooveshark.com/#!/playlist/Bad+Brains+Rock+For+Light/70061330
Read about the band here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bad_Brains#Discography
Fun Facts: Rock for Light is the second official full-length album by hardcore punk pioneers Bad Brains. It was produced by Ric Ocasek of The Cars. The 1991 re-issue was remixed by Ocasek and bass player Darryl Jenifer.
|Bad Brains – Rock for Light
I think I may have heard of them before. Metal?
Least favorite track/tracks:
Overall (1-5 stars): 4
|Bad Brains – Pretty Good, for what it is. 3.75|
|Bad Brains – Rock for Light: 5 stars
Precon: My pick and one of my favorite albums. A while ago I realized that all these bands I liked were heavily influenced by the Bad Brains so I bought this cd and was like oh that’s why. Purists might prefer their first album since it has many of the same songs, not to mention the tracks are remixed and reordered on this version of Rock for Light, but man do I love this album, even if it is the glossy Bad Brains.
Favorite Track: Sailin On
Supposedly you had to see Bad Brains live. So if a cd can’t begin to do them justice and I still find it super impressive, then the Grooveshark version is still good even if it’s not doing the cd justice.
|Bad Brains – Rock For Light
Preconceived Notions: I couldn’t pull the trigger on listening to this on Tuesday, I just didn’t have it in me. It’s Friday now, so I figure, what have I got to lose? Never listened before, but the name of the band alone is something I probably would walk past in the record store.
Wait…there are 19 tracks?
What’s with the random reggae in the middle on “I And I Survive?” is that normal or a glitch in the system?
After listening: I have absolutely no idea what to make of this album really. For someone who’s never listened before, it’s all over the place. It wasn’t a horrible listening experience, and it definitely kept me unbalanced enough to want to stick with it to see what was waiting around the corner, but on the whole, I just don’t think I’ll ever be converted to a hardcore punk fan. I know this is a shocking statement, but it’s one that must be made. It’s mostly about the vocal style. I think I could handle the music on its own, but the strained vocal chords and the rushed delivery just make me cringe a bit every time. I also turn into an old, tan lady from Florida with slightly purplish hair who says things like “THIS isn’t music” when she gets back into her Buick after her grandson’s been driving it. I’m sure these guys have millions of fans, and adoring ones at that and I’m not debating their influence, it’s just not something I’d pick up of my own free will. I’m glad I listened, but I can’t guarantee that will happen much more often after today. Still, I liked it better than some of the other of its ilk that we’ve listened to.
Favorite Song: At The Movies
|Preconceived Notions: Growing up as a thrash metal fan there were certain hardcore acts that were beyond reproach – albeit most of them were seen as a laughing stock – not quite punk, and not heavy enough for metal – most of my peers thought hardcore represented a waste of time. Bad Brains however, had a reputation as being one of those rarified acts above the fray – now personally, I know I’ve heard them before, but they made zero impression on me…and the only thing I know about them really is their reputation as hardcore’s forefathers.
After Listening: The weird thing about this album, is that if you dropped the reggae elements and recorded it on late 80’s technology, instead of early 80’s technology I might have grown up listening to this. It certainly has all the aggression and energy that’s a prerequisite for heavy music. And garbled vocals? Yep we got those too- in abundance. Not that this is always a bad thing. The singer does shift his deliveries at least to break it all up-however what exactly he is spouting is a mystery without the lyric sheet at least half of the time. Attitude is the theme for the band, at least on this album – and it’s clear the music is more about the feel, than about the substance. The reggae elements here could’ve been welcome as a change of pace – but they linger far too long in their moments and aren’t particularly inventive. The lack of bass on the album’s mix is noticeable and one wonders how much “heavier” things would’ve sounded with its inclusion – certainly we would’ve had a more full palate.
Favorite Tracks: How Low can a punk get – There’s a killer riff here, really pernicious.
Overall 3.757 I can see why Bad Brains gets the honored respect from pardon the pun, even the most hardcore of heavy music lovers. There are a lot of really great guitar riffs on this record. Unfortunately, b/c of the hardcore/punk format we don’t get them nearly long enough, nor do we get them properly explored. This leaves me with an appetite to want more after most tracks, and while that may have been an intentioned goal…too many tracks of this start to sour the experience from tantalizing to frustrating. Then there’s the awful mixing, which even though it’s a product of the time-and understandable, adds another negative note to the thing. So Bad Brains gets points for being genre forerunners, and earning mutual respect with nice flashes…but personally is capped out for me at a point due to stylistic choices.
|Bad Brains – Rock For Light
Preconceived Notions: It’s Bad Brains, dude. You know, the punks who found Jah and said some effed up things about the gay that made MDC super mad. This was early on in the Jah, I believe.
After listening: Pure, economical punk rock, with a few pedestrian reggae tracks.
Favorite Song: Riot Squad is my second favorite song named Riot Squad. We Will Not is the contrarian punk ethos as explained by a Sesame Street muppet.
Overall: The homophobia scandal (see below) turned me off of Bad Brains in the 1980s, but I can’t deny their talent and their influence on numerous genres of music.
Bad Brains vs. Big Boys & M.D.C During the summer of 1982 MDC became involved in the Rock Against Reagan Tour, during which time they fell out with the band Bad Brains when Rastafarian singer H.R. learned that Big Boys’ singer, Randy Turner, was gay. H.R. and MDC’s Dave Dictor had an intense confrontation. Upon Bad Brains’ departure from the bill, they refused to return a loan owed to Big Boys and instead left a note that reportedly read, “burn in hell bloodclot fggot.” The incident resulted in the MDC song Pay to Come Along.
Bad Brains has since rethought their views: