Release Date: Oct 15, 2013
Record label: Thrill Jockey
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal
Metal. What’s it doing on Thrill Jockey? That’s the question as the label throws its hat in the ring to capture the growing audience for some rather extreme forms of it. First it was Chicago’s scorching stoner thrash band Oozing Wound and their debut album Retrash. And the label is set to release a heavier-than-thou effort from The Body in the Rhode Island band’s fourth album Christ, Redeemers.
The best bands to come from the “thrash revival” of the mid-to-late 00s could never really be associated with the original movement—they just happened to be active when thrash became in vogue again. Most modern thrash is sickeningly indebted to the patterns of the 80s: the familiar riffs, the familiar tempos, the familiar denim-and-bullet-belt ensembles, even the same fucking Ed Repka album covers. “You used to do the monkey, but now it's not cool” may be cool again, but you want to know why Metallica, “sell-outs” or “falses” they may be, remain more relevant than Exodus? Metallica wanted more than every one of their contemporaries.
Your boss screams at you at the morning staff meeting. Your boyfriend or girlfriend dumps you, by text. Your lunch is stolen from the office fridge, your car gets booted and then you step into a big pile of crap left on the lawn by your neighbor’s always-barking pit bull. Ever have a day like that? Then have I got the album for you: Oozing Wound’s Retrash.
“Somebody gotta survive,” August Alsina says in one of the spoken interludes on his debut major label EP, “Downtown: Life Under the Gun” (Radio Killa/Def Jam). He’s just finished tearfully telling the story of how he learned about the murder of his brother, after singing a song, “Don.
Really, all I should do for this review is to point you to a recent quote from Oozing Wound’s lead screaming and shredder Zack Weil. Asked what the band’s philosophy was, his simple and direct response was: “to slay”. That should give you (if the Chicago trio’s name didn’t give it away already) some idea of what to expect from the heaviest band signed to Thrill Jockey; Retrash is the unfussiest of records, stripped down to four main elements of screaming, riffs, a barrage of drums and plenty of feedback.