Since its inception, punk music has been based around the idea of singing about controversial political and social issues. As time went on a lot of “punk” bands failed to adapt, and continued to sing only about issues that had already been resolved. War on Women is not one of those bands. The Baltimore punk outfit are a breath of fresh air in the genre as they take on some of the issues facing women today.
With songs speaking out against things like catcalling and sexist YouTube comments, the group make it known what they stand for. They recently had the chance to open for Swedish hardcore legends Refused on the band’s stop in Cambridge, MA. Opening with the track “Pro-life?” a song about stance on abortion, War on Women wasted no time in showing the crowd that wanted their voices and opinions heard. Bold lyrics like “We all have a penis / We all have a clit / I'm no better than you because I sit” are another hallmark of a band that embodies the punk rock spirit.
Vocalist Shawna Potter took the stage in a shirt that read “Some people are Trans, get over it!” an indicator of how the band’s feminist stance is inclusive to Transgender women as well. During the set the band mentioned they were giving out free condoms and tampons at their merch table and encouraging the audience to take one of each. There’s no question that War on Women are band who aren’t afraid to make a statement. A quick run through the very YouTube comments they sing about, on one of their videos reveals that their music is controversial and gets people fired up – the way all good punk bands do.
But War on Women’s talents extend beyond their ability to cause a stir, musically they can hold their own as well. With chugging guitars, harsh vocals, and lightning quick drum beats they hold their own stacked up against most other hardcore punk bands out there today. Their stage energy is on par with them as well, band members spent a significant amount of time during their set interacting with the crowd and jumping around capturing the attention of the sold out crowd.
Be it their musical talent or the subjects they speak out on War on Women are a band that stands out. We’re currently in an era where subjects like sexism, Transgender rights, and bullying are hot topics everywhere. Punk rock bands like War on Women are exactly what the genre needs to revive it, a sound for people’s angst, a voice for those who aren’t heard, and most importantly an outlet people can identify with and turn to when they need to feel like somebody understands the things they are passionate about. And if there’s one word that fits War on Women best, it’s passionate.