Ball of Wax 38 Songs of Protest: Julia Massey & the Five Finger Discount – “Nuclear Disarmament”

Singer-songwriter Julia Massey and her gang have been making delightful noises around Seattle for at least a few years now, but this is their first appearance on Ball of Wax. I’m so glad they had a protest song all ready to go! “Nuclear Disarmament,” which will appear on their forthcoming album A.L.I.T.E., is perhaps the most blissfully sweet treatise you’ll ever hear on the terror of living in a world filled with weapons that could destroy the planet many times over. Synthesized melodic percussion and delayed-drenched guitar harmonics and volume swells give Massey’s wide-ranging alto voice a musical backdrop that’s pretty, yet shot through with tension.

Most of the lyrics get lost in the mix (at least to my poor ears), with occasional phrases jumping out, such as “in the hope that trees will outlive me” and “forgive us for the things we’ve done,” but the title alone does a fair amount of work on the protest front. Nuclear disarmament is one of those issues that seems to have sunk below the surface for most people, yet is still incredibly important, still something worth fighting for. Hearing a pretty pop song with the title “Nuclear Disarmament” at least brings it into people’s minds as a thing to care about or hope for, which is, unfortunately, an achievement these days.

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