Bad Brains – “I Against I” LP
Released by SST Records back in 1986, the second studio album by the Brains (or the third if you consider the Roir cassette tape to be an album… which I guess it is. But it was always a bit unclear, as the self-titled Roir album featured many of the same tracks that later appeared on the Rock For Light LP, released a year later, thus making the Roir cassette feel more like a demo for the vinyl album. It’s a debatable grey area, especially as Rock For Light has a comparitively inferior studio production. Wikipedia refers to the Roir “cassette only” release as their “self-titled debut album”, so, there we go, end of…). Anyway, where was I? Oh, I Against I, the first of their recordings to drop the alternating reggae-punk mix in favour of a hardcore/funk/hard-rock hybrid, which, with hind sight, was way ahead of the game, as was always the case with this trend setting band. Talk about musical pioneers, abso-fucking-lutely. Infamously, H.R. provided the vocals for “Sacred Love” over the phone from the Lorton Reformatory while banged-up on a cannabis charge, and you have to wonder what some of his fellow inmates made of it all. This repress on SST – a problematic label (and, in the case of Bad Brains, a problematic band, too) – is super expensive, and I dont know why, other than apparently Greg Ginn has cats to feed.