- Darryl Jenifer
- In Search of Black Judas
For 35 years, Darryl Jenifer has provided the crucial bottom end for one of the single most important bands in punk history as the bassist for Washington DC’s Bad Brains. But while the Capital area rastas are predominantly revered for their skull-crushing combination of hardcore choogle and speed metal precision, it’s the moments when the Brains delve into their roots in dub reggae that the true prominence of their rhythmic anchor shines the brightest. If your favorite parts of such punk classics as their eponymous debut and Rock For Light are the semblances of pure dirt floor transcendence of such rub-a-dub workouts as “I Luv I Jah,” “The Meek” and “I and I Survive,” you definitely need to check out Jenifer’s long-in-the-works solo debut—easily the best thing to come out of the Bad Brains camp since Quickness.
Self-produced inside Jenifer’s private studio in Woodstock, NY, Darryl’s distinctive basslines are front and center throughout the course of this 16-track transmission, from the Ruts-meets-GZA cut-and-paste workout “Trinity Rub” to the melodic-drenched “Away Away” to the hypnotic “Babylon Leave Me Alone.” And though In Search of Black Judas is by and large an instrumental affair, the spare utilization of vocals is effectively interspersed across the sound waves, most notably on the album’s title track that is so effectively weighted by the depth of Jenifer’s deep baritone and the keynote appearance of good old HR, who lends his undeniable throat to the spaced-out “Black Slavery Dayz Mosh.” If Bad Brains ever decide to enter the studio again to record another full-length, it would be a whole lot cooler if the band followed closer to the path blazed by its most crucial member with In Search of Black Judas.