Album Reviews

Oozing Wound – Earth Suck

(Thrill Jockey) UK release date: 20 October 2014

Oozing Wound - Earth Suck 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. Somehow, they sound like a band that both planted the seed that became thrash, and a band that evolved out of it. There’s a little of the past, present and future running through them.

Going Through The Motions Till I Die kicks the album off with a simplistic guitar lick that evolves into a giant rolling beast of a groove that shares at least some of its DNA with Melvins. As the song breaks down briefly the bass and drums kick in hard, sounding as if they’ve been recorded in a cave, bombastic doesn’t quite cover it. As the song continues the insistent riffing it builds a head of infectious repetitive steam that is impossible to resist.

Insistency and repetition are perhaps Oozing Wound’s most effective weapons. When The Walls Fell fades in gently, undulating slowly, before it eventually explodes into a hammering repetitive riff that is constantly revisited and built upon for the its entirety. The closing track False Peak (Earth Suck) sets off in a blitz of frenzied drums from Kyle Reynolds and furious riffing before becoming an exploration of repetition. At this point, it almost becomes an endurance test or a practical joke, where a simple but effective riff is played for what seems like an eternity. It sails past what would be deemed a reasonable period of time for a riff cycle, thunders beyond annoying, becomes vaguely comical, before turning into something almost hypnotic. When it finally ends, it feels as if another 10 minutes or so of more of the same would not be unwelcome.

Bury Me With My Money goes some way to explaining the thrash comparisons, with its lightning riffs blitzing everything in their way and yet, the frantic drumming displays a punk sensibility. Lyrically, it pulls no punches when summing up a greed fueled society, cutting straight to the chase with lines like “I killed it, I bought it, I won it, it’s mine. I keep it, I built it I own the rights”. The logical conclusion to such gluttony is murder, and Genuine Creeper (which kicks off in an almost black metal style) heads in that direction with Zack Weil delivering lines like “kill your neighbour and take what you want for yourself”.

There are shades of Carcass circa Necroticism – Descanting The Insalubrious here too, notably in the vocals of Weil, but also in the usage of terms like “blastocyst pesticide”. The chugging Hippie Speedball might start off with a low slung stoned riff, but it quickly ups the ante as its gathers pace nearly tripping over itself. “I can’t wake up without my hippie speedball” roars Weil, a sentiment that should carry an emotional weight but in fact seems oddly amusing. It’s not that drug addiction is funny, but somehow, the depravity and themes of social decay dealt with on the album all seem so much more palatable when served up on a backing of rough edged rock.

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