CD REVIEW: All One Struggle is cultural identity and individual autonomy
Sunday, December 06 2009
Written by Jamison Mahto,
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resistance cultural cd.jpgResistant Culture: All One Struggle

It’s raining outside but I’m dressed and riding, and I’m out here bumpin’ to the Resistant Culture CD All One Struggle. Their promo says “Resistant Culture is. . .tribal music that has weaved the indigenous flute, rattle, tribal drum and chant into an organic and flowing tapestry with extreme contemporary punk and metal.” In their own words RC refers to their self-created sub genre as “tribal grind crust.” It is reminiscent of Henry Rollins and Black Flag at the height of their first national road tour.

The band line-up consists of the founding member and vocalist Anthony Rezhawk who growls more than sings the culturally referenced lyrics that are backed by hard and fast rhythms played with precision.

Interestingly, the guitarist, Katina is a classically trained musician who rocks as good as she wants and can hang with the best of her male counter parts. This style of music relies on the dynamics of a bass player and drummer who can keep up the driving energy like disgruntled machines over-running people and their mundane lives.

Rafa on bass thunders like he means it, while Ben Axiom is solid on drums. I am impressed at the creativity required of musicians moving into a style that brings the politics of survival to an audience that probably doesn’t come in contact with these kinds of sentiments.           

You will need to work at it if you’re going to get it. Otherwise go home and listen to your ABBA eight tracks. Cross-generational, multi-genre virtuosic versatility is the demand of the times. If you work it, you will be rewarded with the lyrical gems that lie in the debris and chaos of RC’s post-modern, anti-commercial, jet liner decibel level. Just like our parents probably objected to the grease and hips of Elvis, or the hair and boots of the Beatles, some will not get this sound.

The first trac Beneath The Concrete is an apocalyptic message about how mother earth cannot be destroyed and will once again rise to cover the earth in green that includes a traditional tribal chant. It uses a rain stick rattle segue to the next trac Life Givers which is a song of respecting women and certainly not the type of sentiment that is so prevalent these days.

The title trac All One Struggle states “an injury to one is an injury to all no more separatism all one struggle” which recognizes that regardless of one’s place in the universe we are all connected in our struggle for survival.

The song Animal Nations pays homage to our four legged, two legged, winged and finned relations. A couple of songs on this CD could be considered a call for a vegan/vegetarian life style or more humane treatment in our food gathering procedures. It seems unusual, if not unique, given the overall thrashing sound of the music.

A wolf howl sound byte segues to the following trac Community, a song that speaks about how we can all survive with dignity if we come together in community and learn to respect the sanctity of each individual. These guys are not fascist hate mongers dressed up in rock and roll. Quite the contrary they are very pro-living, cultural identity and individual autonomy.

The trac Warning Civilization Ahead provides us with some dark humor that asks us to question the concept of something that is assumed by the dominant culture. You call it civilization when we can over run a foreign country under false pretenses? Hell, that’s as ancient, brutal and savage as anything we’ve seen in recent history.

I particularly enjoy the lyric of the song Stagnation, “lessons learned the hard way, never forget your failure is your success if you grow from it.” This is important and potent advice. Stagnation is followed by Rise Above Despair, a lyric that tells us to “sever yourself from hatred, rise above despair.”

One of these days I’m gonna load my trailer with my tent, sleeping bag and fishing pole, start rolling and get myself free, discard the laws of man and learn to live according to the laws of the land.

Until I get there, I will resist with every ounce of my breath the domination and injustice of this society, cloaked snuggly in the beauty of my culture and rise above the despair.  Let’s Rock!

For more info see: www.myspace/resistantculture.

Jamison Mahto, Spirit Bear Productions

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