March 20, 2010 – It was the Vernal Equinox, first day of spring kids! I found myself seated in the Shrunken Head Cafe, formerly Victorians Midnight Cafe, on fifth avenue. The band setting up on the quaint stage in front of me was Columbus’ own The Resisters. Four middle aged dudes named Ben Arnold on guitar/vocals, Dan Desantis on bass, Chris Murray on drums, and Jeff Kendall on lead guitar.

The Resisters playing at The Shrinken Head

The Resisters playing at The Shrunken Head

As the show began there were maybe twenty audience members. It did seem that the band took up an extraordinary long time setting up and tuning their guitars. It didn’t really bother me though as I chatted up a lanky and pretty folk singer, who was one of two folk singers that traveled and opened up this night at Vic’s… ahem, I mean The Shrunken Head. Her name was Shannon Curtis from Los Angeles, she was very sweet, check her out at http://www.shannoncurtis.net/.

The guys started playing. Their first song was a slower bluesy rock song with nice sweeping guitar licks and great high vocals by Arnold. I was pleasantly surprised by this because he looked to me to be a deep blues growler. I have always been more akin to the reedy vocals of a John Lennon or Perry Ferrel than to a Eddie Vedder or Hootie of Hootie and the Blowfish. The opening number didn’t knock me off my feet and it was a bit predictable for what you would expect these guys to play based on their looks. It was also a little rough and I noticed songs two and three followed suit. I would like to add that it wasn’t bad, but also not stellar. I also realized that seeing a band like The Resisters is really good if you were on a post second divorce date and you were over forty years old. I found myself eying a big breasted cougar across the way and contemplating buying her a shot, its been a long lonely winter my friends. Alas, they hit their first cover at about song four, this one was sung by lead guitarist Kendall and was a Beatles tune off of Let It Be, “I Dig a Pony.” What a great song, they would have pulled it off too if someone would have checked tuning before this number, tsk tsk.

Ben Arnold and Chris Murray of The Resisters playing at The Shrinken Head

Ben Arnold and Chris Murray of The Resisters playing at The Shrunken Head

Now the way things were going, I was ready to slag these guys off, knowing all too well I was not in the presence of a band that was going to crush any records or start a Nirvana type musical revolution. Secretly in every music writers heart of hearts I truly believe we dream to be privy to this, but to be fair to The Resisters I don’t think they are aiming to be the ‘next big thing’ in Columbus Ohio. They are just playing music that they want to play to the people that want to hear it. As redundant as that sounds, it can be beautiful in its simplicity. I sat there pondering this and feeling kind of like a judgmental young prick, then something amazing happened. The place started to fill up will characters of many different ages and styles and Arnold sang and smiled away. Looking sort of like a rock and roll Buddha. His voice really brought it all together for me and the rest of the night was a blast.

They started to really play some interesting hooks and they picked up the pace quite a bit, people even began to dance. By God, in Columbus Ohio!!! As I became more intoxicated and the crowd grew in size and in response to the music that was also improving, I asked myself why can’t an older band like The Resisters, with their good time rock song originals, start the next revolution in music? If there is to be one, someones got to do it, and in this day and age of Lady Gaga commercialism and Black Eyed Peas Pop sludge, it is obvious our youth has lost the true pulse of what was cool decades ago.

So I say it hear first, lets start the next youthful rock revolution right here, with these guys, it would be a first. And hey, I bet these guys wont let you down when it counts. They can be found on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Resisters/101664119875685.

– Oddfellow, Over and out.