Oozing Wound - We Cater to Cowards Music Album Reviews

Oozing Wound - We Cater to Cowards Music Album Reviews
The Chicago headbangers’ fifth LP is a confident nod to early grunge. It’s an unusually succinct statement for them, with leaner songwriting and more pointed barbs.

To borrow a colloquialism from one of their songs, Oozing Wound are living embodiments of the hippie speedball: headbangers both frenetic and spaced out, as if constantly slurping black coffee and ripping bongs. No matter which particular strain of heavy music they’re leaning into at any given moment, they’ve delivered with extreme consistency over four albums and 10-plus years, which makes it all the more ironic that they often inject their work with self-burns for being slackers, sellouts, posers. But do Oozing Wound, in fact, pander to the fearful? They’ve had to try once or twice: Last we heard from them, near the end of 2019’s High Anxiety, they sampled a voicemail delivering the news of an insurance company rejecting them for coverage because “Oozing Wound is too heavy metal.”

If there’s one thing that Oozing Wound excel at evoking, it’s the feeling of being stuck in life, of having a dearth of places to direct a surplus of energy. With their self-deprecating M.O. intact, they find a new outlet on their fifth LP, We Cater to Cowards, a confident nod to early grunge. It’s a more succinct statement for them: leaner, with fewer chord changes and more intelligible lyrics. This newfound efficiency serves their discontent as well as it does their humor, and the band mines it for some marginally more straight-shooting songs. “Remember the good times?” singer and guitarist Zach Weil baits on “The Good Times (I Don’t Miss ’Em),” a fist-shaking ripper with a double-time breakdown and warp-speed guitar solo, before the easy-to-guess switch: “Don’t miss ’em at all!”

Behind a thin shield of wisecracks lies the image of an outsider band wrestling with the despair of attempting to survive in a hostile environment. They see reminders of this everywhere they turn, whether in their own bank statements—on opener and highlight “Bank Account Anxiety,” Weil simply shrieks out the three titular words and everything that they make him feel—or in the faces of those who flinch at the sight of a death-metal T-shirt, like the aforementioned insurance company. “I’m not a violent man,” Weil seethes on “Midlife Crisis Actor.” “But that’s what they’ll all say!” It’s another standout, though this one unfurls in the tried-and-true fashion of taking one solid motif and jackhammering it until vocal cords, fingertips, and frustrations are shredded. The song spends most of its time on one looping measure, and Weil, bassist Kevin Cribbin, and drummer Kyle Reynolds ramp up its intensity from somewhere around vein-popping to full-on nosebleed. The song that follows, “Old Sludge,” takes a similarly cyclical approach one notch higher, riding out their tank-emptying attack on a fittingly convulsive sax solo as Weil pleads for oblivion.

Oozing Wound have always been spitting and restless—at times bravely so, and at times with the smirking, cynical mania of an especially unhinged Tim Robinson character. That much hasn’t changed, but what makes We Cater to Cowards a refreshing move is its reduced approach: They take an idea that feels right, find an easy way to say it, and then obliterate it. For bands that have long known their strengths and identity, growth is often thought of in terms of material additions or dramatic pivots. Oozing Wound aren’t the types to fall for that. They don’t have to stray too far from their zone to prove their flexibility. On We Cater to Cowards, Oozing Wound have downsized to a smaller ride, but they’ve filled the tank with rocket fuel, and they’ve never sounded more comfortable behind the wheel.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Oozing Wound - We Cater to Cowards Music Album Reviews Oozing Wound - We Cater to Cowards Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on February 07, 2023 Rating: 5


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