Washington, D.C.'s, Bad Brains are rightly hailed as pioneers of the politically pissed-off, musically aggressive American hardcore punk movement that arose, not coincidentally, during the Reagan era. But rather than sticking to the pared-down sonic screeds of their contemporaries, Bad Brains were a little more complex, drawing from a musical palette that included funk, reggae and heavy metal. Though the band has never attained more than minor cult status, they've managed to release a fairly consistent stream of albums, of which "Build a Nation" -- which includes the hazy, harsh "Give Thanks and Praises" -- is the latest.
-- David Marchese
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