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Review: Bad Brains, "The Omega Sessions"

Way back in the year 1980, Bad Brains recorded the 5-song EP The Omega Sessions at the original Omega Recording Studios in Rockville, Maryland, but it wasn't released until 1997. The EP includes early versions of songs that were released later.

Bad Brains' Omega Sessions on vinyl

Hearing a band in bloom can be a very exciting experience. On the The Omega Sessions you'll find just that. Not only is the record a formative snapshot of what the band would become, it's an opportunity to be astonished by their depth and breadth as musicians and composers. From the blistering punk of "Attitude" to the low-key reggae groove of "I Love Jah", The Omega Sessions documents a band who would refuse to be categorized by any mere genre. Is "Stay Close to Me" a ska-punk operetta? Maybe. Even if you disagree, you can't argue that the compositional form is complex yet harmonious and all in two minutes and twenty-four seconds. "At the Movies" and "Attitude" capture the darkness and vitality of a band who was ready to forge a very unique path.

b-side etching of Bad Brains' Omega Sessions on vinyl

This reissue is the seventh in the band's recent remaster campaign, reviving the Bad Brains Records label. In collaboration with the band, ORG Music oversaw the restoration and remastering of Bad Brains' iconic recordings. Dave Gardner mastered the audio and his take captures all of the excitement present in Omega Recording Studios that day and he deftly finds the sweet spot somewhere between lo-fi grime and hi-fi shine. This is another excellent pressing from Furnace Record Pressing pressed. The copy reviewed here was on black vinyl and features custom etching on the b-side.


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