Staff Trax: Bad Brains, The Broken West, Humble Pie and The Cooper Temple Clause


to Staff Trax, the weekly feature here on DC9 where we shed some light on the music we've been enjoying of late, regardless of the touring or album release schedules that tend to bear the focus of most of our coverage. Consider it a chance for you readers to get some more insight into our own personal tastes. And a chance to slam us for our crappy ones.

Bad Brains - "I Against I"

This weekend I spotted a guy wearing a Bad Brains T-shirt and I immediately went home and listened to the I Against I album. Released way back in '86, the album was a revelation within the American punk rock scene. Lead by the enigmatic HR on vocals, Bad Brains always incorporated a little reggae into the band's punk roar, but with I Against I, the genre doors were blown open. Hints of funk and metal--sometimes within the very same song--made the album much more than a punk record. The title track alone is worth the price of admission. Sadly, the band never approached such greatness again. --Darryl Smyers

The Broken West - "Gwen, Now And Then"

For the last year or two, I haven't been able to not listen to this song. Every time it comes up on the ol' iPod shuffle, I let it play. It's a great pop-rock song about feeling unwanted by your girlfriend. Even though the subject matter somewhat heavy and has been covered many, many times, it doesn't come off as overwrought, emotional venting. Nah, this sucker's got more of an adult point of view. --Lance Lester

Humble Pie - "Black Coffee"

Where would you go if you could trip backwards down the calendar? I'd go follow Steve Marriott around! I'd make every single Humble Pie performance, rehearsal, and studio session. I'd hover in the background as they strummed and wrote songs around a messy, cluttered coffee table that stank of stale beer and bongwater. This one is my favorite by The Pie--and yes, especially in the morning, while driving with a plastic tumbler of iced mud in my mitt. Explosive, raw, '70s rock & soul. --Alan Ayo

The Cooper Temple Clause - "Promises Promises"

Sometimes, you just have to take a friend's advice and go to a show by a band that you've never heard before. A close friend of mine paid me a visit a few years ago just to see The Cooper Temple Clause play at the Gypsy Tea Room. I must say, I was glad I went to this show. The six-piece was definitely a British band, but they weren't like any other British band at the time. Unafraid to have touches of Britpop with concise, metal-like riffs and spacious space rock, the band's first two albums are keepers. Far as I know, the band never made it back to Dallas. --Eric Grubbs

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Pete Freedman
Contact: Pete Freedman