Bad Brains: “Build a Nation”
Producer: Adam Yauch
Label: Megaforce
Release Date: June 26

As one of the pioneering bands of the '80s hardcore scene, Bad Brains built their reputation on fusing angst-ridden punk with reggae. With their original lineup back in order and Beastie Boy Adam Yauch in the producer's chair, the group gives it a go again after a long studio hiatus on "Build a Nation." Singer H.R.'s off-kilter vocal track on "Give Thanks and Praises" is paired with Dr. Know's raw, thrashing riffs, and there's a sense of brewing urgency that explodes all over songs such as the 56-second "Pure Love" and the raucous "Send You No More Flowers." Alongside the aggression and fury are chilled-out dubs, with H.R. touting peace on "Natty Dreadlocks 'Pon the Mountaintop" and "Peace Be Unto Thee." A welcome return from a band that still doesn't sound quite like anybody else. --Jill Menze