Sunday, April 12, 2015

Bad Brains, "Sailin' On"

18 Days to Find a Home

Even in the Converge and Dillinger Escape Plan era, the first few seconds on Bad Brains' first album feel like a knockout blow to the head. The lyrics are almost comically nonchalant for such a breakneck song--there's no sailing going on here, this is a hurricane. There are melodies buried in "Sailin' On", most apparent in the background vocals that chime in at the :28 mark, and several cover versions (astonishingly, No Doubt, Living Colour, Soulfly and Moby have all recorded it) have unearthed more of the tune. But on Bad Brains it's a war between H.R. and Dr. Know, the former's You Can't Fire Me Because I Quit narrative trading punches with the latter's monstrous, distorted riffage (plus a solo? On a hardcore album? By devout Rastas? In 1982?). In the end, kicking the storyteller out gives them what they both want, but we know who the real winners are.

No comments: