Schizophrenic riffs, tunes and vocals to start, which I took for a distraction technique, i.e. they don't really have a sound. Then I noticed both the tempo and the changeability hadn't let up by track 4 and realised that is sound. Liked it a lot better at that point. But then it turned to borderline metal sludge in the second half. So I'll hedge.
I Love. Bad Brains. Any hardcore kid worth his camo shorts (and I'd like to think I am) knows that what The Ramones were to punk, Bad Brains were to hardcore, a reignition (like their song, heh) of a genre that had grown bloated and moribund with mainstream exposure. Before they were getting banned in DC (also a song title, check it out) for their unrelenting, thrashy brand hardcore punk, Bad Brains were honing their musical craft as a band that played metal, funk and rhythm & blues. This is displayed in songs like House Of Suffering with its blistering drum flourishes and succinct guitar solo, something that was unheard of in punk, but that the Bad Brains harnessed with attitude and vitriol befitting the grittiest gutter punks. Individual virtuosity aside, what made the Bad Brains, and this work in particular, so iconic to this writer was their ability to be go from hard-driving, to groovy, to downright menacing all within a single album. This is a feat that would be commendable for any rock band, let alone one in a scene where bands are hardly known for musical range or diversity. Straight up classic. 5 stars, my guy.
beautiful album i wasn't expecting. really showing my knowledge of punk here.
One of the most important hardcore punk records from one of the most important hardcore punk bands. There’s reggae, punk, rock, metal and all kinds of genres on this. I think I like Banned in DC better but this is a great listen. Favorite track: I Against I Least favorite track: Return to Heaven
Like living in a kick drum. Pure energy.
Yes, yes, yes. This is the way. Hardcore built on reggae grooves, vocals doing backflips, sparkling solos flying out of all the chug. It has it all. If you weren’t bouncing along to “She’s Calling You” do you even have a soul? Here is a band in total control of rhythm, dynamics and melody and using it to funnel their anger (and sense of a good time - remember “Edification first, then we can have some fun”) at a society falling apart around them. Show good taste: enjoy Bad Brains.
An interesting album to be sure. The music is a combination of hardcore punk (which Bad Brains did not like to be called), reggae, and metal. Some songs also have a new wave tinge. The music itself features strong reggae inspired bass lines with guitar work that is slightly phased (in typical eighties fashion) that ranges from more punk inspired rhythms to virtuosic leads that sound more inspired by contemporary metal. The vocal delivery is similarly nuanced and ranges from growled phrases to a more straightforward delivery. Despite the range of influences and styles, this album is coherent and unique.
This album shocked me, I wasn't prepared for this level of melodicism from a Bad Brains album. The Bad Brains I know are loud and abrasive, without subtlety. I am glad to find this side of this legendary band. 4 stars
I generally cut punk albums a lot of slack. Pretty music isn't the point, right? But, dang. This album is a royal mess. It makes no sense, the production is trash, the songs are poorly written and poorly performed ... it's just not good. It's not good punk, it's not good hardcore, it's not good rock. It's just not very good.
Really enjoyed this album.
Very good stuff! Gonna be giving it a second pass, and probably picking a couple tracks out to put into regular listening rotation. What can I say, I like what I like.
this is a classic album that i'm betting gets low scores globally. but i fucking love it - they were unlike anything else happening at the time, and holy shit, were they something. i got to see them at the channel in boston, back in the early 90s!
Love it. The way I found out about the book. Also, learned what I against I means.
Geil, hätte mir früher richtig gut gefallen, gefällt mir auch heute noch richtig gut.
There is no socially appropriate time of the day to play Punk on speakers. That's what I believe, and so to solidity it I played this album at three different times of the day. My family rates this 2/5 and that makes me wonder where did it go wrong. I am a little ashamed as a big punk fan (for status and for the music) that I never heard of Bad Brains ever before. This album tears me apart because songs like Sacred Love and Secret 77 are perhaps some of my favourite songs yet I'm not sure if this deserves a 5/5. The album was an experience start to finish and it was extremely fun to listen to, speakers or earphones. Maybe Bad Brains has more consistency otherwise, like in their self titled as I've been told, but as my first bad brains album I will give this a 5/5. I don't care. 5/5
literally so good all the way through i loved every single TRACK dude
I had a blast listening to this one !!! It was super fun and wow I want to learn how to play guitar super badly. The song titles made me curious about the songs and I knew I would like all of them !!
Pretty cool punk album. Interesting reggae twist. No complaints here
Rock and Roll!
ALL KILLER NO FILLER!! A singularly powerful album - retains the great intensity even when it slows down.
Wow! Raw and aggressive, in the way I kinda like it. Much better than I expected.
First of a rant: the reason why I went to the Amnesia Rockfest in Montebello, Québec, back in 2013, was because that edition of the festival featured the most incredible hardcore lineup ever, including, among other big names, Discharge, Cro-Mags, and Bad Brains, three bands I absolutely wanted to witness on stage, and three bands who cancelled at the last minute; Discharge and Cro-Mags, who were indeed touring together, got blocked at the frontier, while, if I remember correctly, Bad Brains singer H.R. got severely ill of his throat. Well, I guess I was much less lucky than people going to that piss pool of a festival to see The Offspring or Marilyn Manson, damn it! (Hey, at least I saw Alice Cooper! I even cried then!) I read somewhere, some years ago, that when I Against I was released every hardcore/metal/punk venue played the song Re-Ignition before shows, with the whole audience going "Whaaaaaa?" every single time as a consequence. It wasn't the first time Bad Brains got us all going "Whaaaaaa?". From the start Bad Brains was an all black band playing hardcore, a genre predominantly, if not exclusively up to that point, white . And the audience went "Whaaaaaa?" (Racetraitor was a hardcore band who were utterly outspoken about white supremacy and white privilege decades before our modern social scientists started even mentioning those topics. By their confrontational approach, they used to call "crackers" the kids in their audience. "Racetraitor" and "crackers" are both white supremacist terms, reconfigured within the context of their thought provoking stance. It didn't go down well. The band earned an awful backlash from all the social and political sides involved, and their credibility as artists and individuals was severely questioned. - Straight Edge was a lifestyle that promoted a no alcohol, no cigarettes, no meat, no drugs, no promiscuous sex, no coffee, and no pharmacological drugs way of life. Straight Edge was also one of the most violent forms of hardcore punk music around. - Racetraitor ideologist and leader said recently: "We’ve had one time that turned into a physical fight. In the end, everybody was kind of forced to talk about what we wanted them to talk about. They just couldn’t ignore us." - The band would soon break up, one of the members would become a lawyer and work in the international human rights, another one would join pop-punk band Fall Out Boy. - This is the world in which we were growing up) Bad Brains was also a band of very technically skilled musicians who had all studied jazz. And the audience went "Whaaaaaa?" Social justice was a key factor discussed in the hardcore subculture, and so were the Bad Brains, but they were also concerned as much with spiritual issues, promoting the "Positive Mental Attitude"; they also practised the rastafarian faith and played reggae. And the audience went "Whaaaaaa?" Ric Ocasek was an early fan of the group and he went on to produce their second album, a few years before I Against I was recorded. And the audience. Yes, you got it. The crucial point of this album is that, up to this point, and also in all of their subsequent releases, hardcore and reggae where two different styles that were never really meshed together, probably in the intent of keeping intact the sacred, spiritual nature of the genre. A groovy as hell record, I Against I showcases a real battle of Bad Brains against themselves. All of their influences, from jazz to punk, to reggae, soul, funk, and anything else come together in a streamlined, flawless, smooth even, beast of crossover never heard before nor since. All of these ingredients are integral part of the songs in a way that is impossible to discern, dissect, or separate, as if everything was actually processed through a blender in an irreparable manner. Like life itself, like death itself. Like the remnants of a battlefield served on a plate. I rest my case. PS: If you haven't watched the documentary Afro-Punk, I suggest you do as soon as you get a chance. Peace out.
Was always aware of bad brains because of everyone having a sticker or a shirt. I can see why.
Only ever listened to "Pay to Cum", so it's fun listening to this because I can hear how it influenced other bands I like (Faith No More and Deftones, for sure). It's extremely unique, with some crazy vocals. I'm not a huge reggae guy, but I love the little splashes thrown on this record. Favorite tracks: "Secret 77", "Re-Ignition"
Good but not essential bad brains.
Bängeri! Kovaa punkkia från 80-talet
Singular, muscular, badass
Me ha costado mucho entrar en su estilo, pero debo decir que es un disco muy bueno
Jams. Front to back jams.
Never really listened to them but really enjoyed this
Angrier, punkier, funkier TV on the Radio. Out of left field album - really impressive, but not sure if I would listen often.
it was awesome
What a surprise from 1986. I thought this record was fun, and had some punk and solos to it.
I feel like every band I ever saw at Warped Tour could trace their lineage back to this album. Very influential! I especially love the gang vocals and guitar riffs throughout.
So much to like, such genre-crossing strength. Prodigious punk, hints of reggaeton, early alt-rock, uncaged aggression.
Punk with face-melting, virtuosic heavy-metal guitar. I'm very into the vibe---with just 4 parts (drums, bass, 1 guitar, vocal, for most tracks I think) the mix is great. Lots of fast tracks, but track 4 e.g. is really groovy and catchy. Kind of a reggae groove to track 5---interesting change of pace and not *too* out of place. Track 7 has a very 80s vibe (think the Police plus hair rock). Track 9 is great, sounds a bit like a punkier Rush. I like the eclectic influences---I'd say the band is at its best when it sounds less like Van Halen, which fortunately is most of the time.
Dig this, punk meets dub
Not as hardcore as we thought back in the day but still decent
Incredibly influential and groundbreaking. The instrumentation and lyrics are great and catchy. I'm not too versed on the history of pop punk vocals, but I feel like this is a good place to start. Highlights: 2, 3, 4, and 7.
- feels strongly influential. Sepultura / ska / metalcore - innovative and diverse, thoughtful
August 9, 2021 (Aug 18) This was pretty good but I'm not a fan of the vocals.
This really grew on me. I'll give it a low 4, I think. It was a 3 until late last night.
4.3 - They've clearly earned their reputation for being amazing musicians - Bad Brains is head and shoulders above peer bands. The fact that Black Flag and other lesser bands get more accolades to me stinks of racism. Great to hear black rockers that put Washington, DC on the map.
Rating: 8/10 Best songs: House of sufferig, Re-ignition, Sacred love, Hired gun
A hardcore skeleton with all kinds of neat things hanging from the bones. I was unsure about everything but the energy in the first half; The second side brings that and a bunch of other musicianship as well.
all over the shop & all the better for it
Like a weird buffet of your favourite foods stuck on your plate in odd combinations. Rock, punk, rap, funk, metal, and a bit of leftover late 70's/early 80's sneaking in now and again. I enjoyed this more than I expected to.
Already familiar with this brilliant album. Very pleased to know this is rated.
Feels very similar to a lot of albums on here, probably cuz there's a lot of punk rock. Nice to know though.
Leuke metal/punk. En TIL dat deze band aan de wieg stond van de Hardcore scene
This needs another couple of listens… sounds like there’s a good album in there!
Definitely a cool sound and something I could see myself returning to. It was a little repetitive, so i'm gonna give it 3.5 with the caveat that my score could very well increase upon future listens.
Really competent musicianship gave me an album I did not expect. Felt newer than when it was made.
Pretty polished based on what I knew of the band before
Very interesting mashup of punk, 80s hair metal, and pop. Secret 77 is kinda Duran Duran-y? Had no idea there was a seminal black punk band! 2.5 rounded up
Not my kind of music.
Ummm pretty cool I guess?
Definitely high energy, angry, loud and really solid record. The last two songs peter out and end up holding it back from a 4.
Love Bad Brains, not my favorite record of theirs though.
cool album some good songs
Rock. Potente. Interesante.
“I Against I” by Bad Brains (1986) Hard driving punk rock setting for Rastafarian edification, this album is extraordinarily interesting. Very good musical performances of compositions that are melodically spare and sometimes repetitive. Lead vocals by “H.R.” have an exquisite variety of textures, with powerful vibrato that sometimes becomes an instrument on its own. Excellent recording of drums, with a lot of depth and separation. Fine power chord electric guitar work by Dr. Know, featuring a wide range of effects and competent solos. Songs, however, lack a groove, reducing their popular appeal, and thus requiring concentration, but this can be a plus for serious listeners. Lyrics are thoughtful and surprisingly compassionate and uplifting, if the listener is willing to enter into Rastafarian spirituality. This is a good album, well worth a listen if one has the time. 3/5
kind of a hybrid album: a mix of both 80s and 90s meme vocal styles and guitar riffs. not sure if there's more here than just a passing sideshow attraction, but not bad
I Against I was for Bad Brains what London Calling was for the Clash -- the band's first fully mature work, one which successfully brought together all of its diverse influences while at the same time showcasing a singular vision. Also like London Calling, it was to be the band's masterpiece, in the original sense of that term -- a creative pinnacle which they would not reach again...this is music-making of an order not usually seen in rock & roll.
Noisy punk rock.
cool mix of reggae and rock. best songs: re-ignition & secret 77. 3/5
I actually listened to this for the first time a few weeks ago! Looking forward to revisiting it. UPDATE: Okay I like Bad Brains, but sometimes the vocals have zero power behind them and just feel a little weak. But the guy has power, just weird where he chooses to reel it in. UPDATE: "Re-Ignition" is the perfect example of this vocal thing. The drums are driving, the guitars chunky, yet the vocals are half whispered and just don't bring the same vibe as the instrumentals.
Pretty alright. I don’t find it amazing, just okay.
fun energy, and sounds ahead of its time. not sure I'll dig into their other discography, but glad I've heard about them now
I Against I is not what I was expecting upon looking at the album cover. I was expecting some reggae/hip-hop - guess it shows that you don't judge a book by it's cover! This was a cool listen to some mid 80s punk/ska of which I have never heard of the band. Best: Hired Gun Worst: Sacred Love 3.5 Stars
This was a fun mix of hardcore with plenty of other genres like reggae and classic heavy metal. While I prefer their self titled release (cause I'm a hardcore punk simp) this was an interesting experience. Somewhere between a 3-4 can't tell so rounding down
Pleasant surprise. I thought it was gonna be a full metal album after the first minute but was nothing of the sort. Have connections I never knew to Re-Ignition! What a jam.
Not too shabby.
Likovi su mi dost dobri ovako, dok glazba kao taj žanr, općenito ne sjeda toliko koliko sam mislio. Sve u svemu veliki respect imaju, međutim nije toliko sad da bi ih slušao na dnevnoj bazi.
I've never heard of this bank before, but I liked this album quite a bit, especially considering its from the 80's. Hearing it without knowing the release and I would have guessed it to have come out ten years later.
It was alright, quite upbeat and listenable. 3*
Unexpected hard rock album
3/5 Not really exceptional, average
A fun listen. Rocks hard, but not hard on the ears at all. Nice, compact, well-composed songs with a variety of musical influences. Fave Songs: She's Calling You, Re-Ignition, I Against I, Sacred Love
Not to bad
I didn't know this band: not bad. The best song of this album for me is "She's calling you".
No es su mejor momento.
6/10 not a big punk fun, this was pretty good tho I mean at the very least it’s impressive an album like this came out in 1986, so yeah, not bad but not amazing for my tastes
Pretty standard punk album here, not as much reggae influence as I expected. Nothing exceptionally stood out either way.
Another album that lands in the "well, it's not _bad_ but why is it here exactly?" category. Thought it lacked pizzazz.
I have never heard of Bad Brains before. I ended up listening to this album a few times...mostly because it was short and my settings have me on auto-repeat. After 4 or so listens, I thought it wasn't the worst thing, but there is not much there for me...at least nothing to bring me back to the album again.
had no idea what to expect when hitting play, but enjoyed this from start to finish.
The reggae twist was subtler than expected but added a lot to the overall product. Delivers a lot in a single listen
Tunes were good without being special. The blend of genres was kinda interesting though, especially mixing metal-style shredding guitar with more primitive punk. Can hear the influence on a lot of 90s rock bands.
I wanted to like this more than I did. The different stylistic elements just didn’t come together for me, though I certainly didn’t hate it.
The Bad Brains is among my favorite hardcore punk bands. They shift away from reggae into a thrash metal influence that suits their style very well. Not just metal though: there's New Wave mixed in "Secret 77" and "She's Calling You" among others. This album, in particular, has been cited as a major influence on 90s artists to fuse different genres together, including Sublime and Rage Against the Machine. It's pretty short overall so nothing drags on, but that only helped me pin down the weak tracks. The first few tracks are amazing, I can't believe they're able to incorporate 80s thrash metal riffs so well with such an abrasive vocal style (oh wait, that's how I'd describe half of thrash metal vocalists). And there are other highlights tracks, but the rest of them are mostly duds. If you like the style, no problem, but they don't stick out that much. For me, the biggest examples were "Let Me Help," "Hired Gun," and "Return to Heaven." But I still enjoyed it from start to finish, and was short enough to bear through any shortcomings.
A fusion of a few genres, mostly hardcore punk and metal. Not bad
Not exactly my taste ^^
Not my thing, but not bad. 6.5/10.
Another heavy one, but enjoyed this more than I expected. Guilty pleasure. Sets up the scene for a lot of nu-metal/post-punk bands.
Not my cup of tea
Of all the Bad Brains albums, I Against I is not the one to list as 'must listen'. But since it's here, let's talk. This album is one of Bad Brains weaker sets, combining elements of pop, disco and some elements of DC Bounce. This is a good selection of a the punk genre in transition, too late for the great punk scene and a precursor of the 90s pop-punk that will be prevalent. 3/5.
Solid punk that grew into the 80s. Not as exciting as their first few albums.
I can see why it's influential and why people like it but it's not really for me.
This must be how Def Leppard sounds to someone who doesn't like Def Leppard. Some sick guitar riffs but the vocals were just too harsh for me and something about the songwriting didn't click with me
pretty wacky, not as good as the other bad brains i've heard, like if faith no more didn't know what they were doing or something
Intro got me pumped up, but the rest was disappointing. Their song "Banned in D.C" from another album would have been very fitting earlier this month :P
I don't really like this
Fällt mir nicht viel zu ein. Meh? Schlechte 2 Sterne.
Nothing special just some normal hard rock really
Very dated and I didn’t really enjoy it.
Where is the fucking reggae
Not very great. Some highlights, but for the most part I did not enjoy this.
Well, it was only 31 minutes...
_I Against I_ - the 1001 guide itself writes about how Bad Brains was homophobic and religious, which I didn’t really pick up; sure, there were some songs that were a little religious, but didn’t stand out being that way (and Wikipedia makes no mentions). Whatever! The lead singer’s voice really gets on my nerves.
This is a different kind of metal. It comes at the genre from a whole new angle, giving low-key vocals and aiming for overall atmosphere rather than riffage. It's a risk I can respect, but not one that pans out super well. It ends up being pretty mundane and somewhat abrasive. And not the cool, challenging abrasive like early Sonic Youth or Swans, but the kind of abrasive that sort of meanders and doesn't do much to enhance the music. Bad Brains tried here and didn't come up with much.
Metal with a funk edge that passed me by when I was into this sort of thing
It sounds almost comical.
Netter Metal, teilweise recht poppig.
pretty good, seemed like a mix of metal, punk and hardcore.
Not sure how I feel about this. Really solid guitar playing. Many styles. But it just doesn't match with the songs. The songs themselves don't have a real melody. Lyrically and melodically it's very simple. Not a fan of most of it. Maybe I just don't have enough angst to appreciate it.
Nothing special, pretty generic.
I was originally going to rate this really low, but as I continued to listen it just became better and better. It had some bad moments but for sure some good aswell. A bit uncertain about this rating but I would rate 2.5 / 5 if it was possible.
Straight up wild to start. Hypeee. Like punk metal.
Nah, fam. // Favs: — Score: Light 2
Was traveling whole listening…did not enjoy it much
Fairly generic punk by numbers. Nothing too interesting.
I am not a fan of this iteration of Bad Brains. I've long been a huge fan of their hardcore punk self-titled debut, and while I appreciate the band expanding their musical repertoire and having this more gradually-paced, rock-driven sound, it's just not doing it for me.
Punk rock. Skipped around but didn’t hate it. Never heard of it before.
Not for me. Enjoyed parts of many of the songs but too heavy and crap for my liking.
Kind of samey, not super enjoyable.
Not good. It just sounded like bad music.
Generic. Unremarkable. Best track: Re-Ignition
It was okay but didn't really stand out to me. 0 recognized songs
Is this one of those ones where you had to be there? I like the more punk tracks, like'I Against I', but the more metallic songs are technically accomplished, but I find less compelling. Do I need it a bit rougher edged? Do I want some more intense attitude? Is it just paler in comparison to what I was expecting? I was expecting something wilder.
I didn’t love this, although it was interesting for the strange mixing of genres. The musicians are very talented. The band sort of slides around between metal, punk, ska and even a hard-edged 80s-pop-leaning sound (“Secret 77”). That made this more interesting to me than it would have been otherwise. I also liked little touches like the shouts in “Let Me Help.” I can see how some people would be very into this. But I am not those people.
I needed someone to guide me through appreciating this album, since I couldn't really do it by myself. There were moments where I liked the music, but I never got hooked into it. I liked "Secret 77" and I think I liked the gimmick of "Sacred Love" literally being phoned in.
De la canción Re-Ignition salió años después Ultrasonic Sound, de Hive. Y eso es lo único que le podemos agradecer a este disco.
Hardcore punk pioneers. Musically very accomplished (for the genre), and interesting that the vocals for 'Sacred Love' were recorded down the phone from prison. However, it didn't really grab me. I generally like my hardcore punk to be a bit more light hearted and fun. 2/5.
Interesting punk album, not my kind of vocals
Guys shouting all the time? not the type of music that id like.
Another album that I'm not sure about how it got a place on this list.
Ceci me laisse plutôt indifférent. J’en comprends l’intérêt.
Didn’t enjoy this one much. Had a pretty rough sound. Didn’t find too much value here as it seemed like a lesser quality alternative album. 3.7/10
Bad Brains' third album "I Against I" is their best-selling one. The punk band experimented with genres of funk, soul, reggae, and metal on this album. They showed the world that "you can still be hard by playing slow". This album also influenced many rock bands and artists to come in recent years. I thought this album was alright to listen to while working, but it wasn't amazing to me either.
Did not enjoy, felt like quite generic hard rock. Didn’t hold my attention.
I've never heard of bad brains, and the cover doesn't give me much to go on. Intro is pleasantly heavy. The title track I against I is original and moves right along and now I get it, this is punk. With a nice dose of metal and some reggae rhythms. To my ears a fresh original sound, but the energy is so uneven I'm left feeling a bit confused. They certainly have range but, I find myself surprised to be saying, maybe too much range? This should be right up my alley but I didn't end up loving it by the end. Best track: She's Calling You.
Not what I expected - it’s a bit awkward - at times interesting but the vocals get in the way and I get hardpressed to find a song. I want to like it but I can’t.
Not good. Turned it off very quickly. Just angry and whiney.
Pretty fucking bad. Didn’t make it through more than 2 tracks. Just yelling rock.
There's not much to say about this album; it wasn't that great. It's just a mediocre hard rock album that doesn't seem like it should be on this list. Nothing really stands out as everything sort of melds into a blob of sound.
I didn't enjoy this one really. 1/5 stars.
Not for me
This thrash metal and hip-hop crossover album really seems like the worst of both worlds. The trash metal side is overly simplistic, chaotic and annoying, while the hip-hop side of the equation is badly performed and also annoying - maybe it's the reggae influences, a style I find badly performed and annoying almost by default. Every part of this mash-up is a mess. And the result is even more of a mess than the sum of its parts.
Mmm...Punk Metal meets something else in 1986 (i'm not entirely sure what). All the boats had already sailed by then unless it's marketed for people who missed out. I was not impressed and bailed out after 3 tracks I'm afraid.
Some interesting sounds - I didn’t get around it though
Not my type of rock.