- by Texacaliago Rating:4 Release Date:2016-10-14 Label: Thrill Jockey
It can't be easy having a band name like Oozing Wound. For one, the name itself immediately invites a lot of preconceived notions about what they might sound like. If thoughts like "heavy", "loud", and "unpleasant" come to mind, well, congratulations! You've accurately and successfully prejudged the band based solely on the name itself. Digging a bit deeper, you might also assume that a band with such a name has a pretty good sense of humor, especially considering song titles like Everything Sucks, and My Life is a Lie. You would also be correct in that regard as well, although you certainly couldn't tell from the bleakly abrasive nature of the music found on the band's new album Whatever Forever.
This abrasive sound is nothing new for the band, as making one-note sludgy thrash is essentially their calling card, but the level of abrasion on Whatever Forever tends to be a bit grating after a few songs, especially considering the generally one-dimensional nature of the band's attack. It kind of sounds like what would happen if Eyehategod and Carcass had a dingy and half-baked baby, as too much of the album just kind of wails away aimlessly and shapelessly, with no real definitive highlights or lowlights so to speak. Oozing Wound occasionally get into a satisfyingly sludgy groove every now and then, but most of the time it's just a dirge. This can be satisfying if played in small doses, but over the course of a slightly long-winded 48 minute album, it can be a decidedly unpleasant listening experience. I suppose that's the point these guys are going for, so ultimately it just depends if it's your cup tea. Personally, while I'm generally a fan of sludge/thrash-metal, I prefer something with a bit more form and bite to it, a bit more rhythm and groove, or something broodingly menacing about the music. Oozing Wound just kind of aimlessly jam out, but the songs and the album in general lack direction, as well as a flow/delivery that make it engaging.
So in hindsight, Oozing Wound is really a perfect name for this band. You know what to expect. They sound painful, ugly, and dire, which wouldn't actually be such a bad thing if they could deliver on any of those themes in a compelling or satisfying manner. The only thing Whatever Forever compels you to do is to stop the proverbial oozing wound in your ears by turning off the album before it's finished unfortunately.