WMD Found! At DiPiazza's in Long Beach.

I didn't go to DiPiazza's to see a band; I went to drop off some papers for someone who works there. Nonetheless, there I was, Pabst Blue Ribbon in hand, rocking out to a Huntington Beach quartet named WMD.

Before they started playing, I could tell they were from Orange County. The singer was wearing a Dead Kennedys shirt and these white new wave sunglasses that used to confuse kids like me, i.e. south Bay locals who always wondered what the relationship between OC punk bands and new wave fashion was.

Then they began and the influence of all these great OC old school bands came roaring out: TSOL, the Vandals, Middle Class, the Adolescents. Their songs were short, catchy and well-played, another difference between the high school bands I was in from the South Bay and the groups we played with from Orange County.  

From my seat at the bar, I could only see the singer and the bassist, who after one song was my favorite member of the group. Like a good punk four-stringer, this dude was downstrumming like Dee Dee Ramone, and as a bass player myself, I'm usually disappointed to find more players don't play straight-ahead punk the way it's supposed to be played.

WMD were good enough that I had to leave my seat to check out the other members. First I noticed the bassist was rocking an Ampeg practice amp. Ah, to be young again. By this point, the singer picked up a guitar and was peppering some nice leads over their surfy tunes while the left-handed rhythm guitarist was holding down the fort.

The drummer became my second favorite member when I saw he was sporting an N.W.A shirt. Even if he sucked, which he didn't, I'd still give him props just for that. 

The set ended a bit rocky as the group attempted a cover of "Story of My Life," which made me remember how neutral I am to Social Distortion. But Franki Doll jumped on stage to help sing and that can't hurt. The singer announced they'd never played that song before, so I let it slide. Then he mentioned how the bassist joined two weeks ago and I was surprised because the kid can really play.

Check out their tunes here. I was told these kids are still in high school, and if that's the case, Orange County might have a band to be reckoned with in the very near future.


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