Bad Brains

I & I Survived (Dub)

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It probably won't come as a huge surprise to fans of this hardcore band that they've released their first full-length dub recording. After all, Bad Brains have proven in the past to be adept at reggae as well as punk. Their relatively straightforward approach to dub isn't particularly otherworldly or eccentric, but this album is a solid effort even if it doesn't break a lot of new ground. The band sounds quite comfortable with this format (including Darryl Jenifer's melodica playing). Altoist Peter Pittner, tenor saxophonist David CasT, and trumpeter Greg Glassman effectively enhance the sound on tracks such as "Jah Love" and "Ghetto"; Ray Chinna lends some flavor to the mix with his vox guitar on "Ghetto" and "September"; and the other guest musicians are also in good form. You can entertain yourself by picking out traces of "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" in "Cowboys," the Indian influences on "Ragga Dub," the traces of hard guitar rock on the group's dub version of their punk classic "How Low Can a Punk Get," and the vocal samples on various tracks. Or you can just mellow out and enjoy the mostly relaxing groove. The enhanced CD includes a small amount of footage of the band and some brief comments of praise from musicians such as Perry Farrell (who describes his music as a cross between Duke Ellington and Bad Brains), Billy Corgan, Billie Joe Armstrong, and Flea.

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