Review: Oozing Wound ‘We Cater To Cowards’

Oozing Wound, not your average band name, but then, these aren’t your average band. Purveyors of sounds seldom witnessed these days; the band obviously take their cues from an era before everything got polished and overproduced. Reminiscent of early Nirvana and Tad, there’s a real garage scuzz DIY element, which reinvigorates the concept of doing things on your own terms, not by following the man into safe and stale territory.

Oozing Wound 'We Cater To Cowards'

If you are completely unaware of Oozing Wound, let me briefly cover the basics and then swiftly move on to the good stuff.

The band themselves are from Chicago, Illinois, and is comprised of Zack Weil on guitar and vocal, Keving Cribbin on bass, with the absolute animal that is Kyle Reynolds assuming drum responsibilities. Nestled into the noise-rock, DIY warehouse scene (which is apparently a thing), the band make a racket so venomous, that it will literally tear your face off if you dare to stand too close to a speaker system.

And today it is my absolute pleasure to be reviewing their new opus We Cater To Cowards, and I’m absolutely thrilled that I was given this opportunity. In part, because this is exactly what the music industry needs to jump start its limp, lifeless corpse, and in part, because it’s so instant, and in favour of energy over technicality, that it should only help to push people toward bands who can inject a little fun and frivolity back into music.

We Cater To Cowards is a ten-track exercise in noisy angst, that should have the sheeples running for cover, while the true supremacy of being alternative and ‘different’ will be embraced, and championed without question.

This, hopefully, will be what Nirvana’s Nevermind was to the heavy music industry, way back in the early nineties. This is as real and guttural as it gets. Yes, there’s a punky feel in the mix too, but I feel it’s propelled far beyond your average punk fayre by an intensity that elevates it into the heavy music playground. Its real charm is its feeling of complete collapse at any moment, but all the while hoping that isn’t the case.

Tracks such as album opener Bank Account Anxiety give instant bursts as to what Oozing Wound are all about. Urgent, pummelling, and unforgiving, they leave an undeniable sense of distain. In parallel, the likes of the instrumental Crypto Fash takes us on a journey that provides a safe space in amongst all of the insanity. It provides an escape that goes to show that when necessary, the band can rein it in, and put together a deeper, more subdued, yet evocative outpouring, that doesn’t necessitate the need for a vocal narrative.

Urgent, pummelling, and unforgiving, they leave an undeniable sense of distain…

Tracks such as Between Cults and The Good Times (I Don’t Miss ‘Em) step up and unleash a tidal wave of venom. Mixing that scuzzy early Nivana sound, pre Nevermind, with a more complete, and evolved feel, Oozing Wound truly encapsulate everything that a great many of us have been pining for, for far too many years now. The amalgamation of visceral vocal and guitar, with a bass rumble and breakneck, at times even blast beat drumming, gives for a speedball effect shot to the veins. Its like being punched in the throat by Muhammad Ali, or run down by Mad Max, such is the pounding, that if you play it at any less than maximum on your stereo, and aren’t blown away like being shot out of a speeding jet, you just aren’t doing it right.

Total Existence Failure is a prime snippet of just how volatile that DIY sound can be. It feels very instantaneous, and not at all polished, which there in exposes its dirty beauty. This is also true of Midlife Criss Actor, where urgency and adrenaline take precedence over cleanliness of sound and sobriety of nature.

To truly get a feel for the overall nature of the band though, I would like to point you to the aptly titled Old Sludge, as I feel this truly embraces the bands nature, and character. Maybe the title isn’t a soundbite for the bands sound, but it really should be.

Thinking about it, pondering for a second, if you will, it does leave me to sum up with this. If you want to categorise this band, then Oozing Wound, for me would actually be, taking note from my previous statement, old sludge grunge. It sounds dirty, and scuzzy, but is also hard, and venomous.

It’s been a long time since I’ve found a band such as Oozing Wound to get excited about on the simplicity of their dynamic. It isn’t drawn out; everything is very instantaneous. It isn’t multi levelled, pompous prog, and by no means is it dark and ethereal doom music, what it is, is short, sharp, shocks, designed to make you feel something.

It’s a refreshing reawakening into just what we all look for in our music. Love it, embrace it, and be awakened by it.

Label: Thrill Jockey Records
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Twitter | Instagram

Scribed by: Lee Beamish