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Bad Brains, ‘Build a Nation’ (Megaforce)

Joe Gross // July 3, 2007

After a decade of seminal albums, mythic shows, and erratic behavior (the ’80s) and a decade of dud albums, spotty shows, and erratic behavior (the ’90s), Bad Brains were unlikely reunion candidates. Yet Build a Nation roars and throbs with vintage fire. H.R.’s vocals, dub-echoed and buried, sound like they’re transmitted from Olympus. The band’s reggae has improved mightily, though it remains (Jah forgive me) too much like the narrative bits in porn movies; and the punk burners (“Pure Love,” “Let There Be Angels [Just Like You]”) are their most furious since I Against I. Still the only band ever to make thrash swing like Basie.

Now Hear This: Bad Brains – “Give Thanks and Praises” DOWNLOAD MP3

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