‘Riffs For Reproductive Justice’ comp ft. Thou, Emma Ruth Rundle, Racetraitor, Svalbard & more out now
Thou, Emma Ruth Rundle, Racetraitor, Jucifer, Closet Witch, Dawn Ray'd, Hether Fortune, Elizabeth Colour Wheel, Planning for Burial, Svalbard, Stander, Redbait, False, Woe, Sunrot, Vile Creature, Ithaca, Immortal Bird, and more have come together to contribute to the new benefit compilation Riffs For Reproductive Justice, which was put together by music critic and Black Flags Over Brooklyn organizer Kim Kelly. The compilation features "new tracks, demos, covers, and other assorted goodies" (and some previously released songs), and 100% of proceeds will go to the National Network of Abortion Funds (NNAH) and the Yellowhammer Fund. Highlights include a new Raceitrator song, a cover of Nirvana's version of Leadbelly's version of "Where Did You Sleep Last Night" by Thou (here using the "In The Pines" title), a cover of Dead Kennedys' "Nazi Punks Fuck Off" by Redbait, a collaboration from Elizabeth Colour Wheel and Planning for Burial, a Dawn Ray'd song recorded live at Roadburn, an L7 cover by Cliterati, a Sonic Youth cover by Fucked and Bound, an Emma Ruth Rundle demo, and more.
The album description reads:
Abortion clinics across the country are being forced to close, robbing people of the ability to access crucial healthcare services. A theocratic fascist regime is working overtime to control the bodies of those who have uteruses, to force us into unwanted pregnancies, to wrest away our human rights. We cannot stand by and let this happen. All of us—people of every gender, with every kind of body—need to fight back against this horrifying attack on bodily autonomy, by any means necessary.
This compilation is just one small effort made by a few dozen people who care, who are intimately affected by this, and who love other people who are afraid of what the future will bring. There are so many other brave individuals and groups who have been putting in work around this issue for decades, and my hope here is to raise a significant amount of funds from within the metal, punk, and overall music fan communities to allow them to continue that necessary work.
Say it loud, with distortion, with fucking feeling:
ABORTION IS HEALTH CARE.
HEALTH CARE IS A HUMAN RIGHT.
WE WON’T GO BACK.
And here are statements from some of the contributing artists, including Serena from Svalbard:
Recently, I was told to, ‘Shut up and keep my feminist opinions out of music because no one cares.’ So it's great to be part of this compilation that shows how many fucking amazing bands do care. It shows how music can unite us to fight against the current regression in women’s women's rights. But it also makes me sad, that in 2019, the need for a Reproductive Rights compilation even exists. How is women's bodily autonomy still even up for debate?! How has the political climate taken such a giant leap back? A dismaying state of affairs it truly is, but uniting on a compilation like this gives me a sense of strength against this backwards pro-life bullshit. Together, we will fight against this misogyny. Together, we will use music to promote equal rights.
Gazelle Amber Valentine of Jucifer:
When I was 10 years old, Ronald Reagan was elected. Having followed his campaign on TV news, and eavesdropped on quite a few adult conversations within my assumed-to-be-inattentive earshot, I felt a deep sense of dread about the loudly threatened loss of my reproductive rights to a sanctimonious, newly empowered Republican agenda. Now, as is all too familiar whenever the political pendulum swings right, the dread is back. For me. For all of us. When I was 10, I already owned pamphlets about what my body would be capable of doing once puberty and menstruation happened to me. I understood that I would eventually be coping with a body that could get pregnant. I understood that sometimes the menses came for kids by the age of nine. I was ten. As far as I was concerned, my proximity to this danger was already extreme.
Fast forward, and I've spent nearly half a century living with this consciousness that my body is a potential bomb. That my body is a potential bomb and that a bunch of strangers with warped ideas and sick fixations can't fucking wait to blow me up. Though it's often hard to understand for happy parents or for people trying very hard to become parents, the truth is simply that some of us are not ready for parenting. Some of us will never be ready. In addition, many of us can't physically endure pregnancy and/or can't provide for children. For people who don't want to be pregnant, whether it would be a first baby or a next baby beyond our ability to provide, becoming pregnant is lighting the fuse on a bomb that can destroy us. Pregnancy is a very serious health condition that when carried through under the best circumstances still brings life-altering consequences. Reproductive agency and controlling decisions around our own bodies is paramount. Choice is imperative. No person should be prevented from creating and raising a wanted child (and this is a whole other topic demanding our justice work, albeit a matter of long entrenched systemic harm rather than the sudden removal of rights we've formerly accessed). No person should be forced to give birth. No person's choice to have or not have a child should be prevented or overridden by their community, their family, their country or their state, ever, under any circumstances, period.
So it's our honor to be part of this effort in the pivotal fight we again face to defend reproductive freedoms which politicians and religious extremists in our home country seek to demolish. If legislators won't do their job and represent the overwhelming public demand to keep abortion and birth control legal and accessible, we have to take care of each other. Never forget that we are more numerous than those who aim to control us. The object of power is power.
And Mike from Stander:
As a cis-male, straight, white man, I believe it is essential to be a visible ally, and even more importantly, to listen to those who are disenfranchised and marginalized. This cause means a great deal to me as someone with many dear friends who are only alive today because they were able to have abortions, and as someone who believes in the principles of empathy and striving for equality for any human being.
1. Ails - "Mare Weighs Down" 06:24
2. Ancst - "Of Gallows and Pyres" 03:53
3. Axebreaker - "The Sacrament" 03:25
4. Book of Sand - "Seek Out Your Oppressors and Murder Them" 05:56
5. Brian Barr (Aseethe) - "Found Waves" 14:23
6. Cliterati - "Fast & Frightening" (L7 cover) 02:32
7. Closet Witch - "Arlington Cemetery" (Demo) 01:36
8. Dawn Ray'd - "Emptiness Beneath The Great Emptiness" (Live at Roadburn) 03:09
9. Deafest - "Rains Across Peaks" 03:46
10. Elizabeth Colour Wheel + Planning for Burial - "Whiskey and Wine" 03:50
11. Emma Ruth Rundle - "Dead Set Eyes" (Demo) 03:31
12. False - "Heavy as a Church Tower" 17:35
13. Fucked and Bound - "Kool Thang" (Sonic Youth cover) 02:04
14. Hether Fortune - "Birds of Prey" 03:35
15. Immortal Bird - "Saprophyte" 05:32
16. Ithaca - "Secret Space" 02:46
17. Jucifer - "The Object of Power" 04:36
18. Many Blessings - "Harm Signal" 10:01
19. Racetraitor - "Journey of 5 Dead Stars" 01:10
20. Redbait - "Nazi Punks Fuck Off!" (Dead Kennedys cover) 01:02
21. Sonja - "Nylon Nights" 04:34
22. Stander - "Nguzu Nguzu" 04:19
23. Sunrot - "Agonal State" 07:16
24. Svalbard - "Pro-Life" 04:44
25. Terminal Nation - "Poder Absoluto" 02:06
26. Thou - "My Girl" (Nirvana cover) 08:56
27. Trophy Hunt - "Burning Womb" 05:43
28. Twilight Fauna - "Fires Carry You Home" 03:56
29. Twin Temple - "Devil Didn't Make Me Do It" (Live) 04:45
30. Underdark - "With Bruised & Bloodied Feet" 06:31
31. Vile Creature - "A Steady Descent Into the Soil" 13:01
32. Violet Cold - "She Spoke of Her Devastation" 10:10
33. Woe - "A Violent Dread" 09:15