Volume 95, Issue 34

Thursday, November 1, 2001
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Blue Ginger a monumental experience

Disc of the week

Chris Vrenna: from Nine Inch Nails to low-fi, ambient rock

This fight is definitely a winner

This fight is definitely a winner

Bakunin's Bum

Fight to Win! A Benefit CD for Ontario Coalition Against Poverty


Four stars (out of five)

It is very rare to come across a benefit CD that really works.

Fight to Win! is one occasion where the music put forward is just as valuable as the cause it's backing.

Bakunin's Bum combines I-Speed Bike from Godspeed You Black Emperor and Norman Nawrocki from DaZoque.

On the album, violin, viola, cello and drum beats provide the background for speeches by Ontario Coalition Against Poverty activists Shawn Brant and Sue Collins.

What's tremendous about this record is how moving the combination of angry rants and haunting music can sound.

"How far are you willing to go?" is an excellent album-opener that promptly sets the pace for the rest of the record.

"By any means necessary" is frighteningly militant and the intensity is the perfect backdrop for the rage Shawn Brant expresses.

Fight to Win! succeeds, where other spoken word/music combinations fail, for two distinct reasons.

First, Shawn Brant is a passionate speaker. For example, he uses the word 'pigs' in such a disgusting way that, for the first time, you may actually understand why people say it.

In this instance, he uses it to describe the people he feels are exploiting the homeless, not as a mindless anti-authoritative gesture.

The revolt he feels is palpable and even conservatives may be moved by his emotion.

Secondly, the experimental music contrasts perfectly with the voices. Predictable punk rock would have undermined the urgency of the message.

If you're looking for new sounds that can change the way you think or if you're interested in helping those living in poverty, you may want to check out this benefit album.

–Jordan Smith

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Copyright The Gazette 2001