When talking about the early days of Hardcore Punk, it is nearly impossible to get around D.C.’s Bad Brains. The band originally as Jazz Fusion quartet Mind Power in 1976, should become one of the most influential bands for US Hardcore and the anti-racist movement in the country. After they changed their musical orientation towards Punk Rock, wrecked house at New York’s CBGB regularly, the band released their self-titled debut in 1982. Five of the first album’s fourteen tracks were re-recorded and put on thei sophomore longplayer Rock for Light.
Crossover Funk Metal Hardcore Punk Dub
The sheer force of Rock for Light is smashing. Compared with contemporary Hardcore (Punk) bands, the quartet’s 1983 longplayer would still be amidst the fast lane. With the power of a hail of wrecking balls, Hardcore Punk, Funk and Metal shoot through the air when this record rotates on the turntable. But as if this savage and yet controlled frenzy was not enough, the Bad Brains comfort their listeners with dizzy Reggae and Dub songs between the Hardcore Punk thunderstorms.
With Punk Rock as a still relatively new subculture and loud music flourishing in the USA, the UK and many other places, Bad Brains were at the right spot at the right time. And not only did they jump on the bandwagon of that movement, they took the steering wheel and pushed the pedal to the metal. Rock for Light is not just an amazing album, it is furthermore full of references for later Hardcore and Punk releases. The raging tempo of the songs, the heavy riffing, the blasting choruses and the stunning vocals have coined a whole scene for decades. Yes, it is repetetive, but still Rock for Light is an all-killer-no-filler pioneering work and a paragon for Hardcore Punk.