Archive for September, 2014

#1 Bad Brains – Rock For Light

 

‘Rock For Light’, Bad Brain’s sophomore album, with its 20 flawless tracks it sounds like a “Greatest Hits” album that any other band would have released! It is one of the most influential and original albums, a landmark in music’s history and easily one of the top 50 rock/metal albums of all time! Rock for light was the hardest, fastest hardcore album with by far the best musicianship from all the other hardcore releases of its time! It is chock-full of blurring speed and power but also catchy melodies and soul! Due to the album’s 20 tracks, it is a grower, so give it a few listens to fully appreciate it. ~Mr. Metalised

Released in 1983 by PVC, Caroline (re-issue)
Best Songs: Attitude, We Will Not

Interesting Facts: Bad Brains are widely regarded as among the pioneers of hardcore punk, though the band’s members objected to this term to describe their music. Despite their burgeoning punk sound, the early Bad Brains, after seeing Bob Marley in concert, also delved deep into reggae music and the Rastafari movement! Originally formed as a jazz fusion ensemble under the name Mind Power, Bad Brains developed a very fast and intense punk rock sound which came to be labeled “hardcore”, and was often played faster and more emphatically than the music of many of their peers. The unique factor of the band’s music was the fact that they played more complex rhythms than other hardcore punk bands, also adapting non-punk style guitar riffs and solos into their songs.

The band developed an early reputation in Washington D.C., where they come from, due in part to the relative novelty of an entirely black band playing punk rock, but also due to their high-energy performances and undeniable talent. In 1979, Bad Brains found themselves the subject of an unofficial ban among many Washington D.C. area clubs and performance venues (later addressed in their song, “Banned in D.C.”). The band subsequently relocated to New York City.

Rock for Light is the band’s second full-length album. A previous album, ‘Bad Brains’, was released in 1982 but only on cassette, therefore making ‘Rock for Light’ Bad Brains’ first proper album. The 1991 re-issued version has some extra tracks, an altered track order, significantly different mixes and a speed increase of the master which results in a raising of the pitch by one-half step. The album contains a number of re-recorded songs from the band’s first album, Bad Brains, as well as a number of new hardcore punk and reggae tracks. On the band’s subsequent releases, they experimented with funk, soul and heavy metal.

Bad-Brains-Rock-For-Light

“The songs are short, catchy, loud, fast and intense from start to finish. The album has stood the test of time and has influenced not just the majority of the modern punk and hardcore punk bands but also bands such as Slayer and System of a Down! Cutting musicianship and politically charged, social satire, tongue-in-cheek, and sometimes hilarious lyrics fuel classic songs like ‘Chemical Warfare’, ‘Kill the Poor’, ‘Let’s Lynch the Landlord’, ‘California Über Alles’ and ‘Holiday in Cambodia’.” ~Mr. Metalised

Released in 1980 by Cherry Red Records/Alternative Tentacles
Best Songs: Chemical Warfare, California Über Alles

Interesting Facts: The photo on the front cover, showing several police cars on fire, was taken during the White Night riots of 21 May 1979, that resulted from the light sentence given to former San Francisco City Supervisor Dan White for the murder of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk.

On March 25, 1980, Dead Kennedys were invited to perform at the Bay Area Music Awards in San Francisco to major record label artists to give the event some “new wave credibility”, in the words of the organizers. The day of the performance was spent practicing the song they were asked to play, the underground hit, ‘California Über Alles’. In typically subversive, perverse style, the band became the talking point of the ceremony when after about 15 seconds into the song, Biafra said, “Hold it! We’ve gotta prove that we’re adults now. We’re not a punk rock band, we’re a new wave band.” The band, who all wore white shirts with a big, black S painted on the front, pulled black ties from around the backs of their necks to form a dollar sign, then started playing a new song titled ‘Pull My Strings’, a barbed, satirical attack on the ethics of the mainstream music industry!

dead k

“Progression Through Unlearning is quite simply the best Hardcore Punk album that’s been released in the last 30 years! It is a revolutionary, modern Hardcore Punk album that set the bar to unreachable heights!” ~Mr. Metalised

Released in 1997 by Victory Records
Best Songs: Zombie Prescription, Breaking and Reaching

Interesting Facts: Snapcase are known to be one of the “Big 3″ hardcore punk bands on the then-new Victory Records label, the other 2 being Earth Crisis and Strife. Progression Through Unlearning is Snapcase’s second full length album and one of Victory Records most successful releases to date.

After its release in 1997 the band set out on a summer tour, and featured performances on the Vans Warped Tour. In the fall of 1997, the band took some time off so that members could pursue education. In 1998, the band resumed touring, and was the opening band on the fall tour of the Deftones and Quicksand. In the summer of 1999 they headlined Hellfest in Syracuse, NY.

Snapcase disbanded in 2005 and most of the band members found jobs; Timothy Redmond taught AP Government, Global History, and The Turbulent Sixties at Williamsville East High School and Scott Dressler was an Assistant Professor of Economics at Villanova University. Snapcase have since reunited a few times for shows.

snapcase