More than ten years playing in Chicago punk bands has ironically taught Zachary “Del” Weinberg one thing: how to write a great pop song. Del, the brains behind Choice Words, constructs catchy, three-chord guitar riffs made interesting by his hammering drums, biting lyrics, and wall-of-sound recording style. Now in his new home of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Del has teamed up with friends Derek January (Boy Wonders), Joe Pratski (Rave Ami, Boy Wonders, Dream Home), and Warren Pryde (одно окно) to bring Choice Words to life.
Choice Words’ debut release on Org Music—wittily entitled “...um”—is as much a nod to 1970s Elvis Costello power-pop as to the hard-hitting 90s alternative rock of Superchunk and Superdrag. Recorded at Del’s home studio, “...um” showcases Del’s knack for crafting an earworm of a tune, while at the same time, capturing the raucous energy expected of a punk scene veteran.
Choice Words pays homage to Del’s teenage years, where he grew up in Toledo, Ohio, in the shadow of Detroit’s garage rock revival. Stuffing seven tracks into seventeen minutes, however, “...um” never strays too far from Del’s background as the former drummer of 2010s Chicago DIY punk staples Cloud Mouth and Scoundrel.