Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Album Review: War on Women - Capture The Flag

War on Women 
Capture The Flag
***and1/2 out of *****

On "Anarcha" lead singer Shawna Potter exasperates "How long must we wait until these pillars of men crumble and fall" during a marching pause in the breakneck explosion of a song before the track fades out with yells of "we're tired of waiting". There couldn't be a better intro or summation of the co-ed feminist hardcore punk band War on Women from Baltimore, MD who have been railing against society for a few years now. On their second full length things have fully aligned as their slamming energy coalesces around their action inspiring lyrics and the current cultural climate for Capture The Flag

While the album plays around in different punk/hardcore sub genres the lyrical message is always the same; women need to fight for themselves because men sure as shit won't. The five pieces name is taken directly from the movement of the Republican Party restricting women's rights in the United States and as the band fights for abortion rights and against misogyny in general, the message is crystal clear and unfortunately, as stated in "Divisive Shit", the game is fucking rigged.

Opener "Lone Wolves" bangs to start as lead singer Potter sets the stage with the blanket statement that it's all ever been about control before teaching the parts of a gun to the listener around a killer drum beat. The fret board flames fly from Nancy Hornburg and Brooks Harlan on more mainstream metal offerings like "Predator In Chief" which doesn't give a fuck who is in office because it is all the same.

While the lyrics clearly grab attention as the female-focused direct-dealing with issues is rare in hardcore/punk, the band tries out a few different musical angles to get their sound across, all of which are tied together by the powerhouse drumming of Evan Tanner.

Things can become angular and art metal-ish on the most affecting metal song to come out about postpartum depression with "Childbirth", "YDTMHTL" works with math rock and blast beats declaring independence and identity while closer "The Chalice & The Blade" has flashes of theatrical rock wrapping up the disk with the longest offering here pushing six minutes with the shout along motherly warning to clean out your mouth.

The title track injects almost poppy punk moments during it's call to arms "Everyone is your enemy" indeed as Joanna Angel joins the fight. The bass groove of Sue Warner carries the day of "Silence Is The Gift" which deals with animalistic relationships twisting the phrase "trapped" to primal levels while guttural yells of "The Violence of Bureaucracy" flirts with death metal levels of aggression.

These slight changes in style keep things unique yet it slightly diminishes the overall flow of the album as a complete listen. Also Potters vocals and singing style can at times come off as a bit too polished with the rawness around them, however when you are trying to get your message heard, this is the side to error on over gruff/raw/off putting.

Two of the best offerings are smack dab in the middle of the record. "Dick Pics" is a complete package of great revving guitars, motoring skins, ringing guitars, driving bass and vocal/lyrics which attack sexist roles, fantasy/reality and relationship standards in general. "Pleasure & The Beast" mixes blood and bodily fluids around an upbeat punk riff before a direct speech about knowing your self as a woman and not let men in particular define you, get your pleasure from your self.

This point of view is everywhere and vital in today's world. While particular issues/politicians are not directly addressed by name which might date the songs, the overarching vision is vital and should be shouted in every punk club around this country.
Along with Tescorsa, there has been some great female driven punk lately around here. Support the band, buy the album, check it on bandcamp and peep some tunes below:

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