Diversions


Music Review: Resist Not by uncdiversions
May 13, 2009, 1:02 am
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<strong>Resist Not</strong>

<strong><em>Just Walking Away</em></strong>

<strong>(Compound It!)</strong>

<img style=”margin: 5px;” title=”jwa_cover.jpg” src=”http://lh3.ggpht.com/_ptl9uXuPksQ/SUY0xQvPPLI/AAAAAAAAAE0/iZ8wG6bsT4g/s400/jwa_cover.jpg&#8221; alt=”” width=”192″ height=”192″ />Punk doesn’t come much more simplistic than the Resist Not of <em>Just Walking Away</em>. Though live they wield a four-person, two-guitar line-up, on this CD-R LP available at its shows, the Durham band is a decidedly unplugged three piece of acoustic guitar, bass and drums.

And singer/guitarist Aaron Ward really doesn’t need any more than this. He barely lets the songs get started before he’s bursting onto the track, ranting out his grievances like an oddly twanged Mac McCaughan, conjuring the image of a back porch being used as a punk club.

The archetypal example of the style is “Sucker.” As Ward decries the all controlling man with lyrics such as “I don’t care what you say, you’re corrupt anyway, and I want to live for the truth,” his band bounces along to a bass-line that might as well have been played on stand-up as at home as it would feel at a knee-slapping ho-down.

This simplistic musical approach is what keeps Ward’s premises afloat. Some of his songs, such as “Sucker” are quaintly but still somewhat shallowly simplistic. But thanks to the pleasing, buoyant nature of the band’s chugging bass, guitar and drums, this becomes a blessing. The simple arrangements reinforce a style of punk that largely leaves behind the details that have spawned the rebellion and heads straight to the all-consuming spirit of it. In “Sucker” no concrete examples of how the man has wronged Ward are given. We just get the powerful feeling that it has given rise to in him.

By this token it’s a CD that you can scream along to all the way to work but not feel bad about being there the rest of the day after. It’s the catharsis without the depressing facts of the matter, cleansing its listeners of the violent tendencies that are spawned by the daily grind.

Though this more positive nature gives the CD its unique appeal, it can also get a bit tiring after you’ve been hit with 5 or 6 of Ward’s one-to-two-minute, depressingly uplifting bullets. But though it does make for a listen that can become somewhat bland at times, it does give room for the songs that really do get into the meat of their issues to really make an impact on the listener.

“Choice Means Choice” is the greatest of these. With the help of backing vocals from Pink Flag’s Betsy Shane, Ward takes on the persona of a scared pregnant girl tackling the subject of abortion. With lines such as “He says if I don’t I stop one heart beat, he’d stop two,” the band makes it impossible not to be crushed with compassion when the two push their voices to the breaking point and beg “Save me Jesus, I don’t want to burn in Hell, and I’m already there as I can tell.” No matter what your opinion on the issue, it’s hard not to connect with this character’s plight.

Mixing feel-good acoustic punk with hard-hitting, well-compressed gems that throw issues right at your heart, <em>Just Walking Away </em>is an album that’s easy to put on repeat and listen to two or three times in a row, though it might not necessarily have you riveted the entire time.

<em>Resist Not plays tonight at Local 506 with Durham’s Lions At Lunchtime and Raleigh’s River City Ransom. The show starts at 9 p.m. and has no cover.</em>

– By Diversions Editor Jordan Lawrence

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