Not to be confused with that other, singular, ’90s funk-punk band, Weapons of Choice is hardcore to the core! Formed in 2013, they struggled to find a 3-word name to easily identify themselves as a hardcore band a la ’80s powerhouses like MDC, DOA, SOD, MOD, and so on. Despite the fact that WOC is pronounced with a “Dubya” in Pittsburghese, the core members Shawn – vocals, Ryan – guitar, and Travis – drums came to an agreement and there was no going back!
With the recent addition of Will on bass, WOC’s live shows are full of energy and humor. I am forever surprised by the size of the scream that Shawn effortlessly manages to force out and the gleeful expressions on Travis’ face are a steadfast reminder that it’s all in good fun. Adding to their performances, the boys frequently invite the crowd to do away with the notion of a fourth wall and participate in the chaos. Ryan reminisces with a smile about the madness he’s witnessed both on stage and off over his 25 years as a musician saying, ” I’ve seen a lot of crazy stuff as a performer. I hope that never stops!”
Having grown up on a healthy mix of metal, thrash, punk, college radio, and just plain rock ‘n’ roll, their love of old punk inevitably won out and it’s apparent in their sound. For once, I’ve got little to add to their list of influences, as bands like Minor Threat, Black Flag, DRI, and Bad Brains are all expertly mangled and on full display in each song. As I previewed videos searching for just one to choose, it was a struggle for me to not start a one-woman circle pit in my tiny living room! If this video gives you the same feels, I’d encourage you to peruse their YouTube channel for all kinds of brutal goodies, but you can also OWN 2017’s four song EP “Jam Sandwich” for FREE!