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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!

 

Never Give In – A Tribute To Bad Brains

Bad Brains freakin’ rock. So, of course there’s a tribute album to them. I mean, duh!

And, as with any tribute album, you’re generally better to just go and buy the original artist’s records, but there’s still a whole lot worthwhile in the effort to make it fun to listen to the cover tunes too. Often as not on this release, I found myself having the original tunes in my head and just generally being happy for the bands giving it their all here that they were fortunate enough to participate.

Bad Brains had a ton to contribute to music and society in general, and they were an absolutely incendiary band both live and on record. Totally classic. And most of the bands found here give it their very best, delivering an homage to that genius and kneeling gratefully at the feet of this absolutely giant band.

I just can’t figure Moby’s inclusion. His track totally gets this set off on the wrong foot and, just like his interview snippets in the American Hardcore DVD, I can’t quite figure out why this guy keeps turning up when it comes to this type of music. After all, he makes that Love Everybody dance shit that rips off and samples the blues, has done for years. Wikipedia tells me he was in the Vatican Commandos and AWOL back in the heyday, but at some point it seems like he fell on his head, lost his sense, and started making music for rave kids. Well, whatever. Skip track one, skip taking ecstasy, and go directly to the meat of this disc.

This comp rocks. Crank it in your car and laugh as all the white hairs in their Olds around you cringe and shake their heads. Such great songs, re-done and updated. Too bloody right.

Track Listing:
01 Moby – Sailin’ On
02 Ignite – Pay To Cum
03 Skinlab – The Messengers
04 Vision Of Disorder – Soulcraft
05 Snapcase – I
06 Entombed – Yout’ Justice
07 16 – Right Brigade
08 Sepultura – Gene Machine/Don’t Bother Me
09 Adamantium – Re-Ignition
10 Downset – Supertouch/Shitfit
11 Haste – No Conditions
12 Will Haven – The Regulator
13 Turmoil – Coptic Times
14 Boy Sets Fire – I Against I
15 Shai Hulud – Fearless Vampire Killers
16 Cave In – I Luv I Jah

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