- Lukas Pearse
Hardcore punk rock group. Formed in Washington, DC in 1977, its classic lineup includes guitarist Dr. Know (Gary Miller), bassist Darryl Jenifer, drummer Earl Hudson, and vocalist H.R. (Earl’s brother, Paul D. Hudson). The group remained active into 2011, despite various breakups, departures, and reunions. Originally formed as a jazz fusion group, but inspired by punk rock and reggae, Bad Brains pioneered the extremely fast and loud style that became known as Hardcore, influencing bands such as Minor Threat and Black Flag. Integrating reggae songs, complex rhythms, heavy metal and jazz-influenced guitar solos, and unison riffs—all unusual in hardcore—Bad Brains remains highly distinctive. Its lyrics often explore themes of Rastafarianism and social-political consciousness.
Although one of the definitive 1980s hardcore bands, the group’s popularity was hampered by erratic touring and poor distribution of their recordings. Nevertheless, their influence has been acknowledged by subsequent groups such as the Beastie Boys, Rage Against The Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Living Colour....