In these and other pages, Resist Not has been limited to an acoustic punk trio built by political indignation and musical directness, both qualities enforced and delivered with efficiency that seemed almost militant. Aaron Ward, after all, writes predominately short songs that invoke both social apathy and mankind's unkindness, and his backing band—either Chest Pain Eric Hermann or Future King of Nowhere Shayne O'Neill on drums and Dan Streib on bass—pounds against them with fairly standard rhythms.
But Ward's tendency to float romanticism into his frustrations and his band's knack for simple but interesting arrangements allow Resist Not to transcend such reductions pretty easily. Sure, Just Walking Away is most quickly defined by its short, punky blasts: "Separation Anxiety" is a 55-second spat about drinking one's feelings, and the 64-second "Sucker" proclaims "I don't care that you think I'm a sucker/ I don't care what you think, motherfucker."
But then there's "Choice Means Choice," a brilliant country gem backed by Pink Flag's Betsy Shane. A young, newly expecting mother decides she wants to keep the baby—even if she's scared, even if it's a case of statutory rape—because she thinks it's the right thing to do. "Little Bike Ridin' Man" comes as an ode to a 4-year-old who almost pedaled in front of Ward's car. He wonders first where his mom could be but then salutes the kid for "learnin' the old-fashioned way to be grown." Ward celebrates the married life, encourages those who think they're forever alone to take charge, and decides to blow the rest of his workday for a sunbath on the roof. It's a mix, then, of indignation, empathy and independence, and—at its best—it's a perfect, plain ol' kick in the ass.
Resist Not plays The Pinhook Saturday, Feb. 28. Run Dan Run and The Kodiak Farm Boys open the 10 p.m. show. The disc is available for free at Chaz's Bull City Records and online at www.myspace.com/resistnot.