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Bad Brains – Into The Future

Posted on the 20 November 2012 by Audiocred @audiocred

Bad Brains cover art Shepard Fairey Bad Brains   Into The FutureAs a teenager I worshipped at the altar of Bad Brains. Plenty of lazy after school hours were spent tooling around in a friend’s Honda Acura blasting Black Dots and the immortal Bad Brains. At one point I believe I claimed to know all the words (or sounds) to “Sailin’ On.” I am certain that the first time I heard a reggae song and didn’t immediately stab the nearest hippie in the throat was “Jah Calling.” Something about Bad Brains’ music spoke to the barely-contained panic that was always about to rip my kidneys out of my chest cavity. Like all good hardcore, it lit me up and made me feel alive.

Bad Brains’ new album is boring and stupid. Into the Future is a rehash of every tired rock, metal, and punk cliche of the last twenty years, performed drearily and mixed like a combination of Korn and Municipal Waste. Gone is the manic thrash intensity of 80s Brains records; the surviving reggae influences are so castrated as to be basically embarrassing. I have heard Skindred songs more compelling than Into the Future. Lead singer H.R., by now well known in punk circles for his homophobic comments back in the day, wails and vibratos all over the record, with little power or conviction behind his vocals. (It took me a while to put my finger on it, but H.R.’s dulcet tones sound uncannily like Lil’ Wayne in full-on croon mode.) The feeling that surfaced inside of me as I realized that, yes, there is in fact a fuckin’ DUBSTEP song on this God forsaken album, can only be described as the darkest night of my soul.

After a while though, you get numb to it and just start to wonder why the hell these guys still have a record deal at all. Their 2007 album, Build A Nation, was a flop artistically and commercially, and given the decade-plus hiatus beforeBAN it seems unlikely that releasing any more records would do anything but tarnish their memory. Yet at the same time, there is absolutely no chance in hell that they are going to make any money with this record, since it is so unbearably bad that I can’t imagine a world in which it’s popular. There are some tolerable moments on the record – “We Belong Together,” “Yes I” – but even then, the distinction is between “stale and unconvincing” and “makes me want to hurt myself and others.” Give up the ghost, guys. Time you went sailin’ on.


Bars: .5 /5

bars half Bad Brains   Into The Future


Bad Brains – Suck Sess

07 Suck Sess

Bad Brains – Jah Love

08 Jah Love

Bad Brains – We Belong Together

03 We Belong Together

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