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. A year after Retrash they return with their second record, Earth Suck.
Absurd humor has always been a part of Oozing Wound’s music, and while that’s mostly manifested itself in the lyrics, it extends itself into the actual riffs on Suck. Opener “Going Through the Motions Til I Die” leads off with a stonery passage that could be from a Red Fang song, but just when you think they’re about to stroke their beards sensually and talk about how they’re “really into metal like the Sword,” they bring the most unchill hate.
A stranger iteration of this comes on “Genuine Creeper”, a homage and pisstake on black metal. The band’s gleeful warpath wouldn’t be appropriate for a BM song, but those riffs are nothing but necro. And if a song about coveting a neighbor’s property isn’t blasphemous, then what is? (If “Creeper” were on a lo-fi cassette, collectors would be tripping over themselves to get what few copies existed.)
Things take a turn for the doomier with “Hippie Speedball”, which sounds like them joking around with fellow Chicagoans Bongripper, thinking “oh yeah, this slow and low thing is for chumps.” This, like most of Suck, shows the strength of letting Chicago’s wide range of metal and punk influence penetrate their sound and loosening things up. Even so, Suck is more focused than Retrash, most evident in better sequencing that balances the longer and shorter songs.
Lyrically, Suck is obsessed with selfishness and its consequences. The first line, after all, is “I’ve lost the will to live an honest life.” While these themes appeared on Retrash, they were competing with heavily baked sci-fi pulp odysseys. Here, Oozing Wound have largely dropped the sci-fi lyrics, but not their rage. “Bury Me With My Money” leaves you with no pity for the toy-hoarding, money-crazed lunatic vocalist Zack Weil conjures. It’s also the thrashiest number on the album, with no use for subtlety. “Speedball” could be considered the aftermath of Retrash’s “Call Your Guy”, where the promise of drugs as mind-expanding gives way to the harrowing realities of addiction. This is not the lust of power of “Money”, but simply the crippling need to be “a thief in a palace of waifs” in order to survive.
It all takes its toll on closer “False Peak (Earth Suck)”, giving words to the album’s cover, a multi-fisted assault on our worthless egg of a world. Oozing Wound have matured without losing sight of the frayed ends that make their music interesting. That growth is especially impressive given the length of time between Suck and its predecessor. The band didn’t need to be a part of a dying, irrelevant movement; they’ve got what it takes to make one for themselves.
from Album Reviews – Pitchfork http://ift.tt/12XQ3J6