Bad Brains are an American Hardcore Punk
band from Washington, D.C. All of the members of Bad Brains are devout Rastafarians, and this is referenced in some of their songs such as "I Luv I Jah." Along with Black Flag
and Minor Threat
, they are one of the pioneers of Hardcore Punk
, and have influenced dozens of diverse musicians, such as Sublime
, Red Hot Chili Peppers
, Beastie Boys
, Living Colour
(who once covered "Sailin' On"), and Rage Against the Machine
Tropes that apply to Bad Brains:
- Dreadlock Rasta: The entire band (who were apparently influenced by seeing Bob Marley in concert), but HR is the most notable one, thanks to Face of the Band status.
- Feeling Oppressed by Their Existence / Never Live It Down: Their incident with Millions of Dead Cops and Big Boys (see the YMMV section for details).
- Intentionally Awkward Title: "Pay to Cum"
- Neo Classical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: They famously added/mixed reggae and metal influences to their albums.
- New Sound Album: I Against I added more heavy metal and funk influences to their sound, although elements of hardcore were still present.
- Shout-Out / Titled After the Song: They named themselves after "Bad Brain" by The Ramones.
- Surprisingly Gentle Song: Especially prevalent on Bad Brains and Rock For Light, where fast and angry-sounding hardcore punk songs are occasionally broken up by a gentle, downtempo reggae track or two, such as "I Luv I Jah" or "Rally 'Round Jah Throne."
- The Band Minus the Face: vocalist H.R. left the group for a spell in the early 90's, and the album Rise had Israel Joseph I on vocals instead. During this same period, Chuck Mosley was also a brief H.R. replacement for live performances only, while Henry Rollins sang on their cover of "Kick Out The Jams" by MC5, though that was more of a one-time guest appearance. Israel Joseph I even briefly filled in for H.R. again in 2009 for some tour dates - they had booked a tour in South America and H.R. couldn't make it.