Various Artists

DiY-Fest, Vol. 1

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There's a very fine line dividing politics from preaching, and it's a line this outspoken compilation crosses a time or two too many. Artists like Bob Marley and Public Enemy proved that you could discuss sociopolitical issues like these without sacrificing entertainment value, and rapper Mystic, screamer Hanin Elias, spoken word artist Nicole Blackman, and folky Ani DiFranco follow their leads here nicely. But between overbearing speeches from activists like Jello Biafra and Howard Zinn, and obnoxiously aggressive tracks from artists like Digital Escape Plan and Nic Endo, the album's grating, in-your-face approach wears a tad thin way before you reach the last song. DiY Fest is essentially preaching to the choir and, whether you agree with the political ideas being presented or not, the album isn't likely to find its way into regular rotation on your CD player.

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