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Bad Brains

Biography

Bad Brains have long been considered one of the most important bands in the formation of hardcore punk. Formed in Washington D.C. in 1977, the band stood out first because all the members were black, and secondly because they incorporated reggae into their music. On top of all this, their jazz and prog rock background allowed them to play with an unmatched technicality: Bad Brains played faster and tighter than anyone had ever heard a band play at the time. Powered by H.R.'s insidiously menacing vocals and guitarist Dr. Know's preternatural abilities, the band had an immediate effect on the burgeoning D.C. hardcore scene. Their first two albums had the same effect on the rest of the country. Amid near constant inner band strife, they broke up several times between 1984 and 1995, with H.R. leaving to concentrate on reggae and only returning sporadically to perform with his compatriots. Over the years, Bad Brains reunions and sudden unexpected appearances would occur now and again, always considered major event in the punk rock world. In 2006, the classic era lineup played three shows during the final days of CBGB. They also reentered the studio to record new material for the first time in 10 years -- the result was Build a Nation.
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