Brooklyn's Wharf Cat Records doesn't keep to any one sound — from Gothic post-punk to country-rock and noisy electronics to hazy psych-rock — but hangs on dearly to a punk ethos. That's what ties together the ACLU Benefit Compilation, which brings together 20 artists from across the spectrum — not to mention vinyl manufacturers, printers, engineers and others who donated their services — to do exactly what the title says. For every $32 double LP, a minimum of $30 will go to the ACLU.
"Following 2016 political events, Trip [Warner] and I began talking about a way Wharf Cat Records could help," Michelle Nigro, who co-runs the label with brothers Doug and Trip Warner, told AdHoc. "As a record label, making a compilation record to benefit the ACLU was an obvious answer."
You get new tracks by The Men, Palberta, Pop. 1280, Profligate, Alice Cohen, Blanche Blanche Blanche, Merchandise and more for a pretty killer compilation overall.
It also functions as a new band announcement of sorts for Dollar Band, featuring Dylan Sharp (guitar, vocals) and Daniel Swire (drums) from Gun Outfit, plus Steve Urgo, who plays bass here, but has also drummed for Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band.
Dollar Band's "Too Sensitive" is an appropriate track to lead off the double-disc record with such a cause, as Sharp muses on avoiding hopelessness in hard times. "I've always been too sensitive / The piercing human cry / War makes me uneasy / I like to keep my blood inside," he sings with a straight-shootin' sly over one of his most indelibly snaking guitar lines. It shares a lot in common with the "Western expanse music" of Gun Outfit, but Dollar Band's introspective choogle clips just a little harder around the edges.
ACLU Benefit Compilation comes out April 20 via Wharf Cat Records.