Editor’s note: the world is going to shit, this is known. But what’s less accepted is that, in many ways, the world has always been going to shit. In certain points, it has gotten worse, to be sure. In others, it has gotten better. But my aim with this note is not to debate the absurd point of which side “has it” or whether the world is improving or not. My point is that, where it has gotten better, it did so because people stood together, because of solidarity. Where we stand together, where the subaltern is allowed to speak, where the oppressed are allowed to make room for themselves, where the most privileged have stood with those who are less so and listened to them, that’s when things have gotten better. It’s not that complicated either; here’s your chance. 100% of proceeds from this compilation will be donated to the National Network of Abortion Funds and the Yellowhammer Fund. Stand and be counted. And now, some words about music.
In the hardcore and metal world you can hardly throw a rock without hitting a well-meaning compilation album with proceeds going to a worthy cause. If there’s one thing our community has been fairly consistent over the years at doing, it’s rallying to the defense of communities under attack. Whether it’s your local benefit show or the aforementioned compilation album, our community legacy is littered with them, big and small, as well it should be.
So it goes with Riffs for Reproductive Justice by the folks behind Black Flags Over Brooklyn, which most would be familiar with for their landmark anti-fascist, anti-racist music festival. Kim Kelly, whose work in the interest of full disclosure I am a huge fan of, is largely responsible for this compilation but what the hell is on it? Oh, just, you know, greatness. Over the course of 33 tracks from a slew of amazing heavy bands you’re bound to find something you love all while supporting a necessary cause.
From start to finish, this compilation brings the fire and the fury. Some of my favorites are the thrashy, blast beat driven frenzy of Ancst on “Of Gallows and Pyres”, Cliterati’s noisy take on the L7 classic “Fast and Frightening”, Fucked and Bound’s send-up of Sonic Youth’s “Kool Thang”, Jucifer doing Jucifer type things on “The Object of Power”, and Racetraitor’s chaotic blast “Journey of 5 Dead Stars”. Svalbard and Immortal Bird also have brilliant contributions. But picking favorites here is phenomenally difficult given the quality we’re presented with.
So goes the threading of the needle that Black Flags over Brooklyn accomplish through the help of so many willing friends and artists. One of my favorite sections of the compilation is where we go from the lo-fi traditional metal of Sonja to the post-metal sludge of Stander to the fuzzed out doom of Sunrot. There’s eclectic, then there’s whatever the fuck this compilation is and that is a good, good thing. Unless you’re seriously in the know, chances are you will discover something new and worthwhile. That it supports the Yellowhammer Fund and the National Network of Abortion Funds is the icing on the cake, the real draw for anyone who cares about extreme music and what it stands for.
So, at $5 USD (or more, if we here at Heavy Blog might gently nudge you to do so) get to the clicky clicky thing and go discover some new music while helping a good cause.