Mumia Abu-Jamal Spoken Word with Music by Man is the Bastard
Altenative Tentacles Records 1999
This CD is a split record. The first 12 tracks are spoken word by Mumia Abu-Jamal (as well as some by Assata Shakur, Jello Biafra, Allen Ginsberg and Bob Dole) and the last 4 tracks are music by the punk band Man Is The Bastard. Mumia Abu-Jamal is a radical activist/author/spoken word artist who has been on death row since 1982. On this record he covers among other things, police brutality, racism, the civil rights movement and death row itself. The perhaps most intriguing and moving track of the CD is the first one, where Mumia describes the feeling of living on death row, as well as pointing out fundamentally unfair aspects of the legal system in the US. His voice is dedicated, determined and sincere, and is pleasant to listen to.
Man Is The Bastard is an obscure act, even by hardcore standards. Their heavy, slow hardcore (or more specifically: power violence) is fueled by two bass guitars, multiple growling/screaming vocalists and pummeling drums. The production is raw and unpolished and the feedback factor is relatively high. Extreme music, basically. Still, the link between them and Mumia is far from absurd. Both are on a mission of radical change. When reading their lyrics you discover that the spirit is the same as that of Mumia, and hopefully this will shine true and become audible in their music, even to those who normally would find it unlistenable. The cover inlay booklet of the CD is thick and very informative, the artwork is cool, so there's nothing missing with the packaging.