Bad Brains
Build A Nation



by TBrown87 USER (10 Reviews)
August 2nd, 2007 | 10 replies

Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Bad Brains returns with an interesting, if disappointing, album, which feels like a weak attempt to return to their hardcore roots. They do however bring some strong reggae tunes to the album which almost make it worthwhile.

Bad Brains is hailed as one of the kings of hardcore punk and rightly so. The DC foursome started in 1979 as a jazz group but soon evolved to become the wildest, fastest and most violent band of the decade. After the 80s however they suffered a creative slump which led to a horrible reggae album and several short breakups.

Then in 2005 Bad Brains announced that they were going to record the first real album to come out in 10 years. The producer Adam Yauch, was a longtime fan of Bad Brains and a member of the Beastie Boys. Also Bad Brains promised a hardcore style album. So the new material promised to at least be interesting.

Interesting is probably one of the better words you could use to describe Build a Nation. A few other words would be wierd, disappointing and almost scary. The "Hardcore" tracks seem like a strange noise-rock headtrip and almost never go above mid-tempo. HR seems to have lost all the energy he possesed 20 years ago and can't seem to do the amazing things he did with his voice while he was in his prime. And Adam Yauches production tries to create a live atmosphere but for some reason adds way too much reverb to the vocals making them even more annoying than they were already.

But for all that, this album does have several bright spots that make it not worth buying but maybe worth listening to at least once. Dr. Know is still a beast with a guitar and proves it throughout this album especially on the standout Pure Love which is the closest to true hardcore this album gets. And on a few tracks such as "Let There be Angels" the new dubbed up vocals almost fit with the loud distorted guitars. Also on this disc are several very enjoyable reggae tracks. Somehow HR's new soft, melodic singing style really fits these songs.

So in the end what we get is a rather poor album that is still the best one made by Bad Brains in about 14 years. Maybe this a sign of a comeback for the kings of Hardcore. Or maybe its just a foreshadowing of more embarresments to come. Whatever you want to call it, it's the closest Bad Brains has gotten to being itself for a long time.

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user ratings (142)

Comments:Add a Comment 
August 2nd 2007


Album Rating: 3.0

Allright lets see if anyone reads this

August 2nd 2007


Album Rating: 3.0

I'm surprised this hadn't gotten reviewed yet. You rate the album a 4.5 personally and give it a score of 3? Doesn't make a lot of sense. Personally, I liked this one quite a bit. "Give Thanks And Praise To The Lord" and "Build A Nation" are awesome tracks, and although Yauch's production is shaky throughout, it has a cool live feel that did the band justice. It's no I Against I or their self-titled, but it's pretty good for a bunch of dudes in their fifties. Decent review.

August 2nd 2007


Album Rating: 2.5

Dude, I reviewed this album. Maybe if you look at the Other reviews maybe you would know. Eitherway, this album is so boring and your review lacks detail man, try adding more descriptions and ideas to prove how it was boring.

This Message Edited On 08.02.07

August 3rd 2007


Album Rating: 3.0

yah i know the rating diff doesn't make much sense. I just felt that the overall rating for this album was a bit low and needed a boost. As for detail I think I explained everything pretty well. I wouldn't want to read some 10,000 word monster that describes every detail of every song.

September 29th 2008


I only have "Rock for light" and I like that album. I'm interested to hear the "strong reggae tunes" on this album.

April 23rd 2009


Album Rating: 5.0

This site needs some real punk fans.

September 21st 2009


Most people on this site think that rise against are punk. This album isn't very good but their old stuff is amazing

March 20th 2010


Album Rating: 2.5

For the love of Jah this isn't good =(

July 2nd 2011


Love this record.

October 16th 2016


Note that I do possess this album, but I have not given it a listen so much albums I possess, physically or digitally...I'm a completist, so it's very rare I will not try to have the whole discography of bands I like more than 2 albums from, even albums I don't like, sure those remain digital for the longest time, but I intend on getting them anyway, some time....there's so many bands in the 4 main style of music I'm a fan of.

With that said, the guy dissing Rise Against....their stuff past 2005 isn't that great (signing to Geffen Music, David Geffen, one of the guys that caused Kurt Cobain to die, no matter how it happened, David Geffen who is known to be a pervert into girls younger than 14...they were seeing the dollar bill signs...Kurt warned against doing what he did on the cover art of Nevermind itself, if you get the metaphor...he largely signed to a major label only because he had pain issues and that would guarantee him some opiates, he didn't give a shit about fame, as he's shown in Nirvana's best album, by far, In Utero, that they struggled to find a single for because it was too real and without any bubblegum like some of the songs on Nevermind, songs that I hate like Lithium and heard too much that it caused me to hate it "SLTS". Rise Against were a valid melodic hardcore punk band...ya know the real melodic hardcore punk, the thing Bad Religion invented in the late 80's when they some of them decided to make a new band because the singer for 88FL was a raging alcoholic who were beating them up in their practise space heh.

It was still apparent that Rise Against was mostly members of 88 Fingers Louie with a different singer in those 5-6 first years. 88 Fingers Louie was an amazing melodic hardcore punk band (who also strayed into full blown hardcore from time to time) and who did they cover on their best album, Back On The Streets? Bad Brains' F.V.K. which they render justice to very well.

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