Awkward Stage, Bach, Bachman Turner Overdrive, Bad Brains
Awkward Stage – Heaven Is For Easy Girls
Ah, the mighty Mint Records. Let’s float back to 2006 on this tasty wave of pop rock bliss. Jammy guitars, swirling harmonies, all so very tasteful and redolent of the best of the 80s’ smartest bands… Except that’s not it, by half. This is also consciously current, tapping into that urge towards huge melodies and solid backings and clever lyrical oddities that make today’s indie rock what it is. A masterpiece of the form.
Bach – The Best Of Bach
This is my lovely wife’s CD, in truth, but we both play it so often I may have assumed part ownership of it, by now… There’s something positively fascinating about what Bach’s music does to my brain. I can feel lost connections reconnecting, new synapses firing. Take the intricacies of Violin Concerto in Am (Allegro Assai), or the majestic beauty of Suite #3 In D (Air) or, well, all of the Brandenburg Concertos (only three selections found here)… hell, any of these 15 tracks are just what the doctor ordered when life gets crazy. This is centering music, for me.
Bachman Turner Overdrive – The Anthology (2CD)
To me, BTO was always so much more than the hits, though those are all here too. This band of superlative players mastered that classic rock sound and gave it everything they had, without fail. Any of the 31 tracks here will blow the roof off and have you scrambling for that guitar and amp you’ve been meaning to get back into playing. Even tracks like the lighter Lookin’ Out For #1 fit the form. There’s also unreleased and live material here, so it’s really a no-brainer. Hot damn, this was so much fun!
Bad Brains – Bad Brains
This is 33:56 of blistering punk perfection, with a couple of reggae tracks thrown in… I know! Oh this is so great. My current copy (not my first) is the 1997 reissue, with a bonus track of Jah Calling Dub. I cannot overstate the importance of this album. Own it, crank it, love it.
Bad Brains – Rise
This, their 5th album, is more funk rock than punk/hardcore (still with the ska/reggae tracks tossed in), and that’s fine by me. These are solid songs as only the Brains can imagine and play them. Sure, HR and his brother Earl Hudson aren’t here, but Joseph I and Mackie Jayson bring the goods. One thing that strikes me is just how good this records sounds, production-wise. It’s flawless. Throw this in and get your funk metal on, then rest on the sweet reggae jams before heading back into the pit again!