ON-U Sound don’t pull any punches on their latest label sampler, Pay It All Back Vol. 8. Opening with an Orwellian intro, that references The Great Reset, the topics covered range from corporate corruption to an apocalyptic ecological warning against industry’s charge, care of Andy Fairley. It`s tragic that Andy sadly passed over 20 years ago, yet his poetry has never been more relevant.
On Don’t Want To Work A Fake Job, Tackhead take a shot the minimum wage, furious at the failure of the welfare state, over a distorted, buzzing bulbous bass heavy groove, while Excessive Drinking finds Sherwood & Pinch ruminating on the erosion of personal freedom, restrictions on access and movement. LSK calls out the Money Masters – I’m a huge fan of Leigh’s smart lyrics – and hidden behind the jaunty nursery rhyme exterior of Jeb Loy Nichols` What Does A Man Do All Day, is the mantra of “Lies, cheats, steals.”
In between there are militant, melodica-led, strident steppers, and massed brass displays of musical unity, African Head Charge`s dancing, celebratory, Asalatua, Lee Perry`s revisiting of his iconic psychedelic, Black Ark, reverb-ed drum rituals, and Denise Sherwood’s delicious romantic melancholy, but at its heart the collection is a rallying cry. A righteous recourse to rabble, rebel-rousing. An insurrectionary, anti-establishment, anti-apathy broadside against the classic cop out of “I`m alright Jack” – when we all know that we`re all being robbed, of absolutely everything, and no one seems willing to do anything.
Daddy Freddy, Ghetto Priest, and Jen Jen, join forces, and voices, on We No Normal – defending the disenfranchised, supporting those that society has pushed to the margins. The album then closes on an after-hours jazz swing, in disgust with those “Pissed on power.” As amoral, greedy, arseholes continue to dictate the laws and mandates, who wants to toe their line and be fucking normal anyway?
Pay It All Back Vol. 8 will be be released on May 20th, care of ON-U Sound.