Friday, January 13, 2012
Bad Brains - ROIR cassette
Generally these days cassette tapes are thought of as no good and only really useful if you happen to driving long haul and own an antiquated car stereo that plays tapes. ROIR was a music label specializing in cassette releases who just happened to release a demo from a band who had traded in playing jazz fusion in favor of hardcore fused with reggae. Short bursts of adrenalin filled raging punk with H.R.’s Jamacian Rastafarian accent jab straight to the cranium on “I”, “Sailin On and “Attitude”. The short slow fraction of “Banned In DC’ only serves to highlight the crushing speed of the rest of the song. The dub of “Leaving Babylon” simmers the mood with reflectful Jah worshipping reggae. There’s franticness that rivals the most manic bo-polar stage. No amount of Ritalin could capably sedate“The Big Take Over” or “Pay to Cum”. This cassette was pressed into vinyl in 1989 after Bad Brains had a few albums under their belt. “Rock for Light” is a continuation of this album with more polished versions of a few of the songs from the tape release. In comparison to early works, “I Against I” slowly grooves and stirs metal, funk and soul into the mixture. The metallic edge continued on “Quickness”. Later albums were patchy affairs with the band’s live performance reflecting their studio efforts. However in 2007 the band climbed back on board with taking the vocal reigns after an on-off working relationship as Bad Brains’ frontman. Whilst the format may have changed over time, the intensity has not. Believe it or not, Mr Ripley, after all these years it’s still possible to get this release on cassette.