Hardcore is typically an angry genre of music. When it comes to War on Women, that’s an understatement. War on Women are pissed off. Combining intense, thrashy guitars with socio-political lyrics, the Baltimore hardcore act’s self-titled debut album is not only a half hour of pure aggression, but it also stands to be one of the best hardcore albums of the year.
Much like the band’s Improvised Weapons EP, War on Women tackles the misogyny and sexism prevalent in the world today, leaving no stone unturned. From victim shaming (“Say It”) to reproductive rights (“Roe V. World”, “Pro-Life?”), and the wage gap (“Glass City”) to the lack of support for the transgender community from other feminists (“Second Wave Goodbye”), War on Women don’t let up and they go for the throat every time. The band takes a moment to put their tongues in their cheek on “YouTube Comments”, taking actual YouTube insults and throwing them right back at the haters. Musically speaking, the album is just as intense. Both the guitar and bass riffs are heavier than on Improvised Weapons, and the drumming doesn’t let up either, resulting in a bleak atmosphere to match the anger of the lyrics.
The lyrics aren’t always poetic, and they certainly don’t conjure up pleasant imagery, but there’s a beauty in how blunt and confrontational they are. Anti-women rhetoric largely focuses on telling women to “shut up and stay in line”, so when it comes to fighting back the best approach is the direct, in-your-face route. After all, the band isn’t called Polite Conversations on Women. In times of war there is no time to be passive.
It’s unfortunate that not everyone who listens to War on Women will agree with what the band stands for [I hate to break up the flow of my album review, but why the fuck wouldn’t you agree with them? Is it because they call themselves feminists? If that’s your concern, take the time to consider that there are people out there who actually believe that rape victims deserved to be violated because of what they might have or might not have been wearing, or that a room full of men can sit around and think that they know what’s best for women’s health instead of consulting actual women, so if being a feminist means being against people and trains of thought like that, it doesn’t sound all that bad] [And that’s barely scratching the surface of what War on Women stand for], however, with any luck, the album will get listeners thinking, get them angry, and inspire them to stand up and join the war.
5 / 5 – Stream it below.
RIYL: Propagandhi, Aus Rotten, Dead Kennedys