Introducing the most angsty stoner companions you’ll ever meet: Oozing Wound out of Chicago, Illinois. These kids have a delicate taste for botany but an equally menacing taste for sludgey riffs and Nihilism. Here’s a look at High Anxiety, the group’s fourth full-length endeavour; music to kick back to while the bombs are dropping.
The music curator hosts here at Metal Megalomania receive bountiful amounts of music within our ever-growing pile of hopeful albums, EPs, singles, and the like. Of course, metaphorically sitting across from me is said pile, with each and every artful piece glaring back at me with watering eyes, hoping to be next in line for the proverbial chopping block. However, today’s writing session is dedicated to an outside deity of the music world, that being the bottomless pit of Bandcamp’s music catalogue.
I actually came across this album through Reddit’s metal community, and when you listen to this monstrosity, you’ll understand why it was posted there. Notoriously trying to one-up one-another through increasingly absurd music postings, presumably, a fellow over at r/metal launched this new Oozing Wound album into the community’s abyss, hoping it would gain some traction. I think the post got 12 upvotes or something like that.
Anyways, as it usually goes with these things, the cover art caught my eye and badda-bing, badda-boom, now we’re here. Sporting an eclectic mix of crossover, stoner, and thrash metal with a punk edge, Oozing Wound are truly something else.
The band seem to be a manifestation of reactions to horrors caused by twenty-first century idiocies. From anti-vaxxers to flat Earthers, there’s a lot of abhorrent ideas floating around, and Oozing Wound’s serves as an adverse sonic reaction to this world of stupidity, albeit perhaps with a satirical flair as the music presented often sounds stupid in its own right, but we’ll get to that. I mean, infinitely more abhorrent ideologies are equally problematic, such as recurring Nazi rallies and rampant racism, but sometimes its fun to sing about Nihilism and tame idiots.
I mentioned prior that Oozing Wound’s music gets stupid-sounding at times. Admittedly, this was said just to fit with the terminology I was using to describe anti-vaxxers and flat Earthers, but “stupid” isn’t really all that far off from the truth. Its one of those things that you can’t really explain through words but you have to try because you write music reviews and like hitting that thousand-word quota. There are a lot of times where you’ll be listening to High Anxiety and you’ll think to yourself, “this sounds really cool but doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense.” I’m very far from being even remotely knowledgeable about time signatures and music note theory (if that even makes any sense). However, the great thing about music is that you can just tell when its good or when its bad, but also, your opinion doesn’t really matter because its all really up to personal preference. I think Oozing Wound’s Nihilistic vision is rubbing off on me.
Anyways, I really dig whatever this is. From the punk-edged vocal style, to the trashcan drumming, incessant screaming, weird riffs, and all of the other stuff that comes together to create High Anxiety, it all just kind of works in the end?
To describe its sound, High Anxiety sounds like High on Fire but with a lot more screaming and not that many slow sections. Actually, there is some more chord-influenced easy listening to be found here on the tail end of some tracks, but even then these portions are overlaid with weird guitarwork that isn’t necessarily intricate or technical, it just doesn’t make all that much sense. The lead guitar solos are off the walls, too, I’m pretty sure one of the solos here is just the guitarist sweeping up and down polar ends of the note selection. Finally, the guitarwork and drumming patterns are used in conjunction to move the tracks along, creating a thumping rhythm that keeps you waiting for the next head bob, even if you’re questioning the music’s value. How’s that for a summary?
I guess the only negatives here are that there’s a big chance you’ll listen to High Anxiety and immediately pull a 180, travelling in the opposite direction at a high velocity. Furthermore, the record seems to be limited by its angsty sonic direction, which lacks inherent depth because all of the tracks seem to play on the same thumping groove. Don’t get me wrong, Oozing Wound’s music all gels together, and there’s definitely a sound here, I just don’t know how much replay-ability this has, as I also know I wouldn’t want to listen to this every day. Its definitely a mood thing.
Angry stoner music. You either get it, or you don’t. Unluckily for me, I do.