Various Artists

Never Give In: A Tribute to Bad Brains

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Another damn tribute album -- at least this time there are a few awesome bands, as opposed to unsigned metal from Idaho doing Slayer or Metallica covers. As a personal rule, tribute album reviews should remain relatively short. If you're not too familiar with the original Bad Brains tunes, the band was a revolutionary punk band from D.C. in the early '80s who incorporated early hardcore tendencies and reggae beats into their volatile style of music. Moby begins the expedition with his relaxing, dreamy version of "Sailin' On," but the melee does not break out until the fifth song, Snapcase's "I." Both bands clearly make the songs their own, while being careful not to bastardize the originals. The same holds true for Downset's furious "Supertouch/Shitfit," Will Haven's strange version of "The Regulator," and Boy Sets Fire's "I Against I." Shai Halud cranks out a dangerously aggressive "Fearless Vampire Killers" to round out the successes, while the list of failures unfortunately includes some metal mainstays. Entombed, who has nose-dived into the dark confines of mediocrity, Sepultura, V.O.D., and Skinlab (Pantera??) all fail in doing justice to the Brains. Fortunately, there is enough good material to outweigh the bad, making this an above-average tribute worthy of any die-hard Brainer or hardcore fan.

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