“Even if all packets reached a hungry person–and most have not, according to numerous reports from Afghanistan–[the food drops] would not have fed 15% of those starving for a single day.” -Associated Press 10.29.2001 This CD has tons of politically-conscious and socially-aware artists coming together to help raise awareness and funds for the women and children of war-torn Afghanistan. 50% of the proceeds from this compilation will go to RAWA (Revolutionary Association for the Women of Afghanistan). Amnesty International refers to Afghanistan as “the world’s largest forgotten tragedy” — we say, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! ***comes with free info insert (with art by Shepard Fairey at OBEYGIANT.COM) and sticker straight from STICKERGUY!!
Geykido Comet always puts out good compilations. With eight released in the last couple years alone — each bursting at the seams with a healthy variety of established and underground punk acts and unreleased material — that much should be expected by now. What’s especially great about this compilation is that like its title might indicate, the beneficiaries are the women of Afghanistan whose rights and livelihood have been ravaged by a decade of Taliban rule and an ongoing war in their homeland. The Revolutionary Association for the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) was founded in 1977 to oppose the oppression of both the Soviet Union and the Jihadists, rejecting all forms of religious fundamentalism. As a result of its dissident stance, its founder Meena Keshwar Kamal was assassinated in 1987. But the movement has lived on, and in the post-9/11 Afghanistan of today, its focus has widened, as the group set up programs for orphaned children and continued humanitarian and women’s rights campaigns. In the spirit of empowering women and equality, Dropping Food draws equally on some of punk’s best female and male voices. And several of the bands, like the Devil Is Electric (featuring Chris Clavin and Hannah Jones of Ghost Mice), along with crust-punkers Iowaska (neither Iowan, nor ska, if you were wondering) manage both at once. The Bouncing Souls with “That Song” and Pistol Grip with “Crucifixion Politix” provide some of the comp’s best sing-alongs, while Intro5pect’s spastic electro-punk thrives on its unique instrumentation on “Conditioned Reaction.” Berkeley supergroup the Frisk provide the in-your-face “In My Nightmare” alongside the re-incarnation of fellow Bay Area ska-punks Link 80, whose rendition of “Time for Change” suggests something far removed from the band Nick Traina once fronted. From the infectious pop-punk of Randy’s “Karl Marx and History” to crust punks like Armistice and Resist & Exist beside old-schoolers Youth Brigade, Dropping Bombs is enough to cover the bases of just about every subgenre. The Revolutionary Women of Afghanistan even provide a couple great tracks of rousing traditional Central Asian music that, oddly enough, seem to fit right in. After 31 songs, the collection closes with Jello Biafra’s trademark spoken word that wraps it all up, giving a not-so-subtle reminder of why projects like this are necessary. With a whopping 50 percent of proceeds going straight to RAWA and a track listing that nearly everyone can enjoy, this is a compilation that will benefit the listener just as much as it will its worthy recipient.
Worthwhile compilation that benefits several Afghan women’s organizations. Mostly of the politically minded punk variety as one might imagine, with choice moments courtesy of Chumbawamba, locals Jack Killed Jill who contribute a pissed-off thrash through “You Don’t Own Me”, a few traditional Afghan pieces given an inoffensive dance-remix makeover… even Jello Biafra makes sense in his spoken word excerpt. Something for everyone, really, and a worthy, timely cause to boot. Dig, and dig deep.
(MLH) SHREDDING PAPER, Issue #15, April 2003
Thirty-two bands, individuals, and groups contributed to this CD benefiting the women of Afghanistan. Fifty percent of all proceeds (not profit; there’s a difference) will go to the Revolutionary Association for the Women of Afghanistan and Afghan Women’s Mission. Both the thoughtful liner notes and the diversity of styles show that this is an undertaking dear to the hearts of all involved. The big names here—Bouncing Souls, Chumbawamba, Anti-Flag—will entice people to buy the CD, but more than a few of the other bands are less than stellar. Fast-and-sloppy covers (Jack Killed Jill’s “You Don’t Own Me”) and ska-tinged skate punk (Link 80) aren’t terrible, but both are quickly becoming compilation clichés. Still, there’s a great and compelling diversity in this mix, including Fobia’s laid-back hip hop, traditional Afghan women’s songs, and Jello Biafra’s dry commentary on Bin Laden and Bush. As a whole, this compilation is all over the place, and only a handful of people will fall in love with every single song. That said, it’s for an excellent cause, and many bands contributed unreleased material. If there’s even one song that interests you here, pick up the compilation to help women in Afghanistan.
(Designated as a “highlight” by the reviewer, AT) PUNK PLANET, Issue #54, March/April 2003
One of the founders/owners of Geykido Comet, Heela Naqshband, was born in Afghanistan, but luckily, she and her parents left the country shortly after the soviet invasion in 1979. Now that the U.S. has invaded Afghanistan, Heela is trying to do something for her homeland. She and the rest of the Geykido Comet crew have released this album and are donating 50% of the proceeds (the money they make before recouping their expenses) to RAWA, an association of Afghan women, for Afghan women. This fact alone makes this album worth the eight bucks it costs. On top of the good cause, though, it’s some great music. There are songs from some big name bands like Youth Brigade, Anti-Flag, and Bouncing Souls; songs from lesser known but still great bands like the Thumbs, Randy, Fleshies and the Voids; and even a couple of pleasant surprises, like the songs by CO-ED and Jack Killed Jill. A lot of the songs on this album have been previously released, but that didn’t bother me. The comp is over an hour long and listening to it is like listening to your favorite independant radio show. There are some tracks included that I ordinarily would not be too crazy about–a hip hop song, a ska song, and a Chumbawamba song–but they actually work in the context of the album. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
(Sean) RAZORCAKE, Issue #10, September 2002
32 tracks to benefit RAWA. Some of this stuff you may have heard before – Jello Biafra, Bouncing Souls, Anti-Flag, Youth Brigade, Pinhead Circus, Link 80, The Fleshies, Iowaska, Litmus Green, Randy, Chumbawamba, some of it – the Voids, Armistice, The Kill, Bikini Bumps, The Jilting, Intro5pect – not. But you can’t really argue with the quality of the largely punk and pop material on offer here, the price, or the cause. Includes a couple of excerpts from RAWA’s CD ‘Patriotic Songs’. A mandatory release.
AK Press catalog