Oozing Wound: High Anxiety (Thrill Jockey)

The Chicagoan thrash metal / punk trio return with fast, furious, wickedly entertaining fourth LP

Released Mar 15th, 2019 via Thrill Jockey / By Erick Mertz
Oozing Wound: High Anxiety (Thrill Jockey) When Whatever Forever from Chicago’s Oozing Wound hit back in 2016, two things occurred beyond a fierce splatter of goo in the faces of thrash metal fans. First off was near universal adoration from metal critics, and the second was a drooling sense of anticipation for what comes next from crypt creeps the world over.

Nearly two and a half years later, Oozing Wound has finally dropped their follow up, High Anxiety, another blistering assault of stony thrash punk and metal. Once again, the band straddles a delightfully fine line between sharp edged societal critique and crass ridicule as displayed on riotous tracks like the scene smashing, Tween Shitbag the coarse opener, I’m Surrounded By Fucking Idiots and perhaps my favourite track title ever, Birth Of A Flat Earther. As far as instrumentation goes, the band maintains a tight grip on what has worked for them since their ascension from the underground noise and warehouse circuit. The tracks are built around surprisingly detailed performances, crushing guitar riffs, a raggedly distorted bass and hellfire percussion. Every track feels like a calamitous storm that is ever increasing in menace.

Oozing Wound has been at it for a short while, but already they have dredged a fairly extensive catalogue up from the briny muck of their imaginations. The band claims fun and an air of nihilism, which shows clear on this record. They’re adept at poking fun at whatever they see and they don’t really seem to care too much. Most important to the album’s execution is what High Anxiety avoided on the way. Oozing Wound didn’t hit the current White House incumbent nail on the head like many others, and that gives it an odd air of purity.

This record is just as savage as Whatever Forever was, although the songwriting feels considerably more restrained that it’s predecessor. High Anxiety is comprised of seven tracks and thirty-four minutes, as opposed to the previous ten and almost fifty. Previously, it seemed Oozing Wound was given to fits of live inspired experimentation, short tracks for example, the likes of which are gone. On this record, the shortest track, Fifth Chisel is my favorite, clocking in at two and three quarter brutal minutes. It is focused and dripping with intensity and, as the band claims, fun. 4/5

Oozing Wound UK Tour Dates:

Thurs 28th March, The Peer Hat, Manchester,
Fri 29th March, Nice N’ Sleazy, Glasgow,
Sun 31st March, Rough Trade, Bristol
Mon April 1st, The Black Heart, Camden, London