BAD BRAINS: “Pay to Cum” b/w “Stay Close to Me”: 7”

Jul 20, 2021

It’s hard to imagine that, forty-one years on, anyone could say much about this reissue that hasn’t been already said—reviewing something so classic seems mostly like an exercise in jerkoff rock critics attempting to outdo each other by seeing who can heap the best-smelling pile of florid praise upon it. With that in mind, I’ll tell you something you don’t know about this record: I owned this record, and I fuckin’ gave it away in 1982. I had a pen-pal in Finland with whom I used to trade records. He’d sent me a pile of stuff, and the pile I had slapped together to reciprocate seemed a little skimpy. I already had “Pay to Cum” on the Let Them Eat Jellybeans compilation (different version, but not that different), and the reggae-ish B-side didn’t do all that much for me, so I tossed it in his pile, just to even out the numbers. Boy fucking genius, that’s me. Anyway, “Pay to Cum” is not merely Ramones meets hardcore meets fast-talking “Too Much Monkey Business” type songs, it’s also rhythm. Punk rock reduced rhythm to the rapid pulsations of an electrocution, “Pay to Cum” keeps that, plus zaps out barrages of brain-frying rhythms on top of it all. Can you say “I make decisions with precision trapped inside this manned collision just to see that what to be is perfectly my fantasy” five times fast? I can’t even say it one time slowly. Whatever this bands sins against humanity may or may not be, this record is a masterpiece. I wonder if that kid in Finland still has my copy? BEST SONG & TITLE: “Pay to Cum,” no duh! FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: See above. –Rev. Nørb (Bad Brains)