Given the very definition of the term, it’s easy to think of progression as inherently linear. And yet, we’re living in a world under the thumb of capitalism, with fascism on the rise and human rights being stripped away on the regular – just two months ago, the US state of Alabama passed a bill banning abortion. Clearly, the mindset that things will get better with time encourages complacency. And as a community that (often undeservedly) prides itself on its outsiderness and inclusivity, the metal scene should stand up for those most vulnerable, and do some good where it can.
It’s important, therefore, to support causes like Riffs For Reproductive Justice when they appear. The new compilation, presented by the Black Flags Over Brooklyn collective – famous for hosting America’s first anti-fascist metal festival earlier this year – is a Bandcamp release spanning a wide variety of metal, hardcore, punk and folk, including some exclusive new, live, covers or demo tracks. It builds on a Twitter campaign from BFOB’s Kim Kelly, in which she offered to recommend a new release to anyone who donated to the National Network of Abortion Funds or the Yellowhammer Fund, which Kelly reports raised over $4,000 in just one day.
Among the names uniting to raise money for abortion access are Racetraitor, Closet Witch, Ancst, Dawn Ray’d, Fucked And Bound, Underdark, Vile Creature, Redbait, Thou, Svalbard, Ithaca, Emma Ruth Rundle and False, but there’s many more exciting names on the 33-strong track-list. For a minimum donation of $5, that’s an insane amount of fucking sick music.
The compilation is live on Bandcamp now, and once again aims to raise money for the National Network of Abortion Funds and the Yellowhammer Fund (with receipts being sent to the artists and anyone else who requests them for proof). In a country suffering under a theocratic and essentially fascist regime, abortion clinics in the US are being forced to close, robbing people of their right to choose and not so much restricting as totally withdrawing their access to essential healthcare services. Though the Astral Noize team is based in the UK, we will each be ordering the release, as the taking away of human rights hurts us all, and we urge anyone who can to support this venture. If you can spare a donation, consider doing so, but if not then be sure to share the link with as many people as you can.
Words: George Parr