Although “Quickness” is the fourth studio album by Bad Brains, it was the first I had listen at the beginning of the 90’s and several songs from it still echoing in my mind. “The Messengers”, “Sheba”, “No Conditions”, “Silent Tears”, “The Prophet’s Eye” are only a few of the 11 (plus outro) killer tracks of the album.
“Quickness” is 34 minutes of pure essence of Bad Brains delivering the best of their unique hybrid of raggae-punk and hardcore-funk. Released on 14th September, 1989, 22 years ago, these songs sounds still fresh and… quickening. Who said white man can’t jump and black guys can’t rock?
The band was first founded as a jazz-fusion ensemble called Mind Power in Washington, D.C., in 1975. Two years later, they became obsessed with punk rock, they changed their name into “Bad Brains”, after the Ramones song “Bad Brain”. The original singer, McCray left the band in the early days of the group’s hardcore-punk era, and guitarist H.R. (the stage name of Paul D. Hudson) became the band’s singer. The band’s classic and current lineup is singer H.R. (Human Rights), guitarist Dr. Know, bassist Darryl Jenifer, and drummer Earl Hudson, H.R.’s younger brother.
The band developed an early reputation in Washington D.C., due in part to the relative novelty of an entirely African-American band playing punk rock, but also due to their high-energy performances and undeniable talent, but in 1979, Bad Brains found themselves the subject of an unofficial ban among many Washington D.C. area clubs and performance venues.
Their self-titled debut album was released on Neil Cooper’s ROIR Records on “cassette only” in January 1982, followed in 1983 by Rock for Light, produced by Ric Ocasek of The Cars.
The band went on hiatus in 1984, but reunited in 1986 and released “I Against I” followed by “Quickness” in 1989.
01. Soul Craft 03:07
02. Voyage Into Infinity 03:14
03. The Messengers 02:17
04. With The Quickness 02:45
05. Gene Machine/Don’t Bother Me 02:59
06. Don’t Blow Bubbles 03:03
07. Sheba 02:51
08. Yout’ Juice 03:00
09. No Conditions 02:22
10. Silent Tears 02:49
11. The Prophet’s Eye 04:25
12. Endtro 00:52
Earl Hudson is credited with the drums, but he does not appear on album, the drum parts being performed by Mackie Jayson of the Cro-Mags.
The begining of the 90’s were pretty troubled for the band, H.R. left several times the band he was subsequently replaced by Taj Singleton and Chuck Mosley (ex-Faith No More).
With the original band back together for the first time in five years, Bad Brains released “God of Love” in 1995, followed by “I & I Survived” in 2002.
This is history, this is hardcore. As of March 2011, according to Blabbermouth.net, Bad Brains have begun work on new material for their next album, which is due for release later this year. It would be nice, Bad Brains delivered last time in 2007 the album “Build a Nation”.