Various Artists - "East Timor Benefit Album"
(Idols Of The Marketplace 1999, IMP495)
From Aural Innovations #13 (October 2000)
To explain the purpose of this album I'll simply quote from the promo sheet that accompanied it:
East Timor was forcibly ruled by Indonesia for nearly 25 years at a cost of over 250,000 lives (nearly 1/3 of the population). During the late summer of 1999, their independence movement came to a head, met with violent opposition and ultimately created over 100,000 refugees. All profit from this album will benefit Community Aid Abroad - an Australian group that's been providing food and medical attention to the remaining refugees.
As you can imagine with a benefit album that seeks band contributions there is a wide variety of music represented. There are 12 contributors but I'll just give a brief rundown on those that might appeal to AI readers...
Ramona and Bezzus' contribution is a very good rock tune with a punkish edge and a cool strained guitar sound. Smoking Popes play a New Wave style like The Jam or very early XTC. Jailbait performs a pretty hysterical version of George Michael's "I Want Your Sex". Needless to say they shred it up good. The Hillbilly Hellcats do some rousing rockabilly and The Blue Moon Boys do the same only fire it up in the most floor stompin' of Stray Cats styles. Self has a solid pop sensibility that recalls the best of Squeeze. The Mudkids are a rap group. Totally opposite of what we review here in AI, but I was really taken by the contrast between the angry rappers and the peaceful violin and acoustic guitars that accompanied them. Pretty freaky. And Cataract Falls play heavy guitar wall-of-drone rock with a seriously tortured vocalist.
For more information check out the Idols Of The Marketplace web site. Several of the contributing bands are on the label.
Available for $10 postage paid from Idols of the Marketplace; PO Box 50138; Fort Wayne, IN 46805
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz