Voting Day Local Soundtrack: We Ask For Safety By Bon Jovial
Unless you’ve been living in the most isolated shelter in America, you know today’s voting day in what’s been continually dubbed as the most important election of our lifetime. (If you have been living in that shelter, is there room for someone else? Asking for a friend. Or friends.) Certain elections in and around the Richmond area seem especially crucial today, and the majority of people in the area are fired up to cast their vote and make people realize that every vote does indeed count. (Don’t believe us — just look to the Virginia House of Delegates election last year.)
The Auricular‘s not here to tell you who to vote for or what side to take on the issues. But we are here to focus on local music, and it seems germane today to highlight a recent two-song release with a steadfast activist message.
Released on October 30th, We Ask For Safety is a blistering two-song EP from hardcore-melodic punk group Bon Jovial. With the commanding photo (courtesy of the Giffords Law Center To Prevent Gun Violence) and fiery first track, the focus seems to be on the growing epidemic of gun violence in America, and the inability of our elected representatives’ to take any steps to prevent it.
“Bed, Bath, And Beyond Thunderdome” opens the EP up with a barrage of pummeling instruments and barking vocals that lay out its clear-cut stance. “Can we hope that everyone will understand? / Just thoughts / Just prayers / Not enough of us that will disagree / But why can’t we see, that it will take more than reflections and gods?” The message sears the eardrum, an approach perhaps heavy-handed and overstated, but understandably so after a decade of inaction and pandering by lawmakers and lobbyists.
Whatever your stance on the issue, there’s no argument that the idea of a mass shooting has become normalized within our culture, becoming an ubiquitous part of the news cycle that can be sandwiched between viral videos and “where are they now” features. As we become more and more numb to these shootings, passionate songs like these are important if only to show that there is action to take and not just empty platitudes to fall back on.
“Bed, Bath, and Beyond Thunderdome” may be the most noteworthy song of the two, but the second track, “Cowboys From Helsinki,” feels most fitting today with a message that millions (probably more than 66 million to be clear) can empathize with as they head to the polls.
The song opens up with a relaxed somber melody before erupting into focused rage, something that seems to fit the events of November 8th, 2016 until today. “Breathe your air around you / We’ve had our fill / Breathe your air around you / We’ve had our fill” the song states, which best represents the growing resentment within the country, and the unifying message those resisting can fall under.
Pick your rallying cry among the two messages if you’re so inclined, but most importantly, go vote today. There’s nothing else to say except that your vote does matter in this election, and all the ones that follow.