Build A Nation - Bad Brains

Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. 88
    No, this is the real shit--classic lightning riffage, hearkening dub rhythms, and a perfectly insane H.R. and Co. following the great spirit to hardcore heaven
  2. Bad Brains' most cohesive effort since the 1986 watershed I Against I. [29 Jun 2007, p.136]
  3. It doesn't stray too far from their original template but it is focused and involving.
  4. While Bad Brains never quite match the intensity of their early days, this is easily the best record they've released since Quickness.
  5. 70
    Build a Nation roars and throbs with vintage fire. [Jul 2007, p.92]
  6. It's surprisingly decent. [Jul 2007, p.174]
  7. A welcome return from a band that still doesn't sound quite like anybody else. [30 Jun 2007]
  8. What torpedoes Build a Nation is the heavy cream of reverb and echo that drowns the vocals.
  9. It lacks the messiness that made them so beautiful in the first place, but be glad they're still punching.
  10. Bad Brains can still blast with ferocity, but the jarring changes in tone and tempo could prove more of a problem than the lo-fi production for many listeners.
  11. Ultimately, however, listening to a Bad Brains record is a disjointed experience. Those expecting a 30-minute blast of frenetic punk may be put off by the occasional reggae, while those hoping for a mellow, positive reggae album may be startled by the ferocity of the band’s punk tracks.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 12 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. AndrewJ
    Sep 16, 2007
    Very good. I particularly like the low-fi production quality. It's a really nice contrast to today's millisecond-timed, glossy, overproduced digital products. Full Review »
  2. RobertR.
    Aug 2, 2007
    The 9s and 10s are too high. The reggae tracks are the best parts of the album and the punk parts are lacking. No one likes to blame age for a classic bands latest shortcomings but on tracks such as Universal Peace and Let there be angels, HR's vocals are in another octave from what wants from the songs. In regards to one wants from those songs, I reference some of their biggest hits, such as Banned in DC and Sailin' On where he explodes fast and furiously. For me, it was the balance of mellow reggae and fast visceral punk experience that made Bad Brains great. With the somewhat lacking latter, this album is just good, not great and certainly not worth a 10. Full Review »
  3. HermannW.
    Jul 7, 2007
    the best record since 5 years and the best Bad Brains record since i against i. I hope they will tour Europe . i will always love the Brains for their PMA. Full Review »