Bad Brains - Into the Future (Megaforce) 

Hardcore, but sometimes half-hearted

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The Jah-preaching hardcore relics return with a procedural album to follow up 2007's Build a Nation. Bad Brains built their name on frenetic, high-energy music that shook the established sound. Into the Future can therefore best be called tame. There are H.R.'s signature spasmodic cadences and flashes of days of yore. "Yes I" and "Suck Sess" hit with full force, driving guitar and punching drums. However, they struggle to find a way to blend their reggae-dub tracks seamlessly into their metal sound. Products like "Youth of Today" unravel to what sound like unfinished, half-hearted backyard jams from '95. The album is a passable update, and at times enough to keep us believing, if only for the moment.

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