Various Artists

Talk – Action  = 0 (Bank Robber Music / Rough Trade Publishing)

Inspired by the protests for justice taking place around the world after the senseless deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery (“and countless other acts of violence against Black people that happen every day due to systemic racism, white supremacy and police brutality”), it took Bank Robber and Rough Trade less than a week to put together a compilation album featuring 100 songs.

Clearly, the message takes priority over the music here. All of the artists contributed a track — many of them previously unreleased — in order to make a unified statement. It would, therefore, be missing the point to sit and dissect each of the songs.

“We as a small company have always been committed to our artist community, but it would be a disservice to not recognize that the music we love and the roster of artists we represent are influenced by Black culture,” said Emily Roman of Bank Robber Music in a press release. “The artist and the Black community are in the midst of changing times. We wanted to use our platform to amplify the two communities that allow us to do what we love every day in this industry. We are extremely grateful for all the artists we work with who quickly mobilized to be a part of this benefit compilation; We are here for our artists, and we stand with Black Lives Matter. This is the time to dive in, dig deep and take action.”

That is the point here. That said, the music does happen to be excellent. Whether it be a 2003 live tune from Scottish indie band Bis, a 26-second acoustic protest by Courtney Jaye appropriately titled “Fuck This Fucking President,” a dark and orchestral piece by Christoph Berg or a typically heart wrenching song by Jesse Malin, there’s an enormous amount of incredible music to dig through.

All proceeds will go to Black Visions Collective, and the album is available to purchase on Bandcamp now. Go do that.

LA Weekly