Bad Brains (USA)

  Bad Brains is legendary in their ability to bewilder. The band was originally founded in that year of punk in 1977 in Washington D.C. that's home also to Minor Threat and many other immortal hard core pioneers. Bad Brains is, therefore, highly respected not only as the developer of the entire genre, but also as a fearless avant-gardist.

As if the midwifery of hard core was not enough, the band did not hesitate either when marrying punk with their other big love, reggae. At its wildest, Bad Brains could pull the emergency brake just when the hard core crossfire was at its most intense, and play the next verse as relaxed reggae. Originally a jazz band, Bad Brain has also been experimenting with funk and more metallic expression, and this unflinching combination of various genres is what makes the band's back catalogue so timeless. Closer to home, even Swedish Entombed has honoured the band with a cover song.

Besides Living Colour, there haven't been too many entirely Afro-American bands in heavier rock. Bad Brains has been smashing prejudices for more than three decades now, and to this day not too many other aficionados of punk, rock or roots have had the guts to try an unabashed musical pandemonium like this. But then again, that may not be such a shame after all, since we have Bad Brains that put things in order for once and for all. The rod of lightning hitting the Capitol Hill that was pictured on the sleeve of the band's legendary debut album seems to light the band's fire decade in, decade out.

The line-up to be seen at the Ilosaarirock Festival is Bad Brains' most classical one, the same that recorded the band's latest album Build a Nation from 2007. The album was produced by Adam Yauch of Beastie Boys, apparently as a payback for the education he received long ago.

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Bad Brains