One Nation Under

One Nation Under

by Black FireBlack Fire


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This family band from Flagstaff, Arizona, pump up their politically driven punk with some serious medicine -- a unique Native American worldview that informs their music as it sets them apart from other message rockers. Navajo (Diné) siblings Klee, Clayson, and Jeneda Benally are joined by elders both spiritual and geneological on One Nation Under, which features Joey Ramone on two tracks as well as proud papa Jones Benally, a champion hoop dancer and pow-wow singer. There's no starker depiction of the Blackfire dichotomy, and the band make the tensions between hallowed tradition and the urgencies of modern rock work for them again and again on this CD, which handily netted a Native American Music Award in 2002. Blackfire drive home their reservation blues with traditional percussion and vocals deployed over a taut rhythm section recalling the predatory post-punk of Fugazi. There's plenty worth shouting about, as the scandalous situation of America's first people is rich with enough bad faith, cynicism, and exploitation for a hundred Minor Threat albums. But while the social injustices may be specific to the Diné and their kin, there's resonance with the struggles of oppressed folk everywhere. And it's to them that Blackfire offer their hard truth, promising survival to those strong enough to maintain their culture, with all the incongruities, rage, and humor that this modern age demands. May they long practice what they preach.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/15/2002
Label: Canyon Records
UPC: 0729337704923
catalogNumber: 7049
Rank: 102111

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