Picks and Pans Review: Rock for Light

updated 10/24/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/24/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Bad Brains

No, don't confuse them with Retried Brains. The world's first and perhaps only heavy-metal punk reggae band, this group from New York City via Washington, D.C. will pin your ears back from the first groove. After softening up the audience with three side-one cuts of chain-sawing guitars and battering drums, they release their stranglehold and hand out some aspirin and a cold compress in the form of Rally Round Jah Throne. This soothing reggae number also serves to validate the quartet's credentials as Rastafarians and Third World sympathizers. But then it's back to the heavy artillery before another reggae respite ends the side. It's all crude, of course. But it's also possessed, pent up, unstudied—all the virtues that made punk a movement to be reckoned with. Ric Ocasek of the Cars produced the album, preserving the band's power while avoiding muddiness.

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