Release Date: Oct 21, 2014
Record label: Thrill Jockey
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal
What made Oozing Wound’s 2013 debut, Retrash, so great was its back-to-basics approach to heavy and thrash metal—just don’t call them “trash” to their faces. The battering ram of a record featured a number of blatant High On Fire and Slayer-isms, but that was the beauty of it. The band wore their influences proudly and gave approximately zero fucks if the listener dug it.
Oozing Wound would like to let you know they’re not a thrash metal band. It’s easy to see where the confusion would arise: while the group has roots in Chicago noise rock, last year’s Retrash owed as much to Voivod’s sci-fi weirdness as it did to crossover’s streetwise attitude. Oozing Wound weren’t trying to infiltrate a scene, they just happened to make an inventive record most thrash revivalists couldn’t.
In a musical world populated by so many fake and false genres, metal stands out as perhaps the most irredeemably fraudulent of them all. It’s said that metal is angry, indignant music, music that funnels rage into condensed explosions and shoots it at a corrupt universe. But when was the last time you observed metal’s “anger” actually causing someone to cower in fear, make amends for a wrong, provoke an imflammatory response, or incite any of the effects that serve to invest anger with its particular, everyday meaning? Probably never.
The second album from Oozing Wound sees the trio “honing” their craft, which in their case is a fabulously potent blend of punk, metal and tongue in cheek humour. The band is frequently described as thrash metal, which is not entirely accurate. Certainly there are elements of that early thrash sound, which was a mix of punk and NWOBHM accelerated to the nth degree, but Oozing Wound are too scuzzy around the edges to fit the description.
Long hair, headbanging, Flying V guitars, amps cranked up to 11, sludgy rhythms: These can all generally be taken as signifiers of serious music. Often, the guys (and it is to a very large extent a male population) attached to these totems are the ones extolling the technical musicianship of the shredded solos, embracing the dark destructive power of the shrieked lyrics, and wielding the word “brutal” like a battle sword. Whether it’s metal, thrash, sludge, or some other heavy guitar music, this isn’t typically the kind of music associated with a sense of humor.