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Boomkat Product Review:
*All Exclusive Tracks from Devendra Banhart, Diane Cluck, Feathers and Josephine Foster* Despite Georgie Bush knocking seven bells out of his foreign policy through armed conflicts in the sand, there's been a shockingly low amount of protest from the musical world - with the likes of the Beastie Boys, Dixie Chicks and Green Day flying the battered flag. But wait...what's this? A compilation of anti-war songs featuring Devendra, Diane Cluck, the Feathers and Angels of Light? Curated by the wonderful Josephine Foster? At last the tender leftfield has a voice... Far less lumpen than such releases tend to be, the less aggressive stance displayed by the respective artists is also manifest in the non-preaching liner notes - with Foster stating "all of the musicians represented here are us citizens; our voices join with many others across this land that freely question and openly oppose war - all proceeds from sales of this compilation are being donated to specific counter-recruitment and pacifist organizations and we hope to assist them in their efforts promoting peace and non-militarism in the united states". So with the mission statements out of the way, does the music withstand its lofty pronouncements? Well yes - with a choice of tracks that could happily make up a scene compilation without any sniff of anti-war sentiment propping it all up. Kicking off with The Cherry Blossoms and 'Dragonfly', 'So Much Fire To Roast Human Flesh' trickles into your subconscious with a thrumming song that sounds as if you're overhearing an intimate broadcast in a rain lashed forest - a proposition that is infinitely more welcoming than that description suggests. Next up is the Banhart-affiliated Feathers, bringing a frazzled perspective to the psych palate - reimagining Americana as an echoing landscape of swirling guitars and rhythmical crescendos, before Meg Baird serves up a tender confection of folk that happily gives the nod to Vashti et al. Choosing to abandon the enthusiasm etched sound of 'White Reggae Troll', Devendra delivers a genuinely moving contribution in the shape of 'I Know Some Souls (Demo)' - exposing a a raw surface of emotion that has an impact well beyond its means, a situation that is reprised by Diane Cluck for the wonderful 'A Phoenix And Doves'. Elsewhere, Josephine Foster delivers a heartfelt musical plea with 'Would You Pave The Road', Pajo go for grand gestures with the acoustic epic 'War Is Dead', whilst the tremulous country of Kath Bloom has an oddly patriotic feel. Whether you support their motives or not, you can't question the musical muscle on show. Fight!