Okay so I probably wouldn’t have gone to see Chicago’s Oozing Wound at Aurora this month under normal circumstances because I usually don’t seek out thrash shows as a genre and I was actually working until the wee hours of the morning on a recording of my own when the good folks at Thrill Jockey (the label) sent me Whatever Forever (their latest release) and now I am bummed out I missed it.
From the opening buzzing guitar intro to Rambo 5 (Pre-Emptive Strike), the first cut, it is obvious that these guys are a solid musical sonic attack that is both intricate and relentless. Followed by the passionate Diver the trio; Zak Weil voice and inventive guitarist is amply backed by Kevin Cribbin (bass), and Kyle Reynolds (drums) all veterans of the Windy City punk scene deliver the same kind of excitement of early Slayer releases.
Weil combines a penchant for finding new sounding rock riffs with amazing dexterity while being extremely musical and the muscle of Cribbin and Reynolds rhythmic drive make it hard to stand still. Take the cool jungle drum opening of Weather Tamer amidst elephant guitar swells and the repeating chorus riffs of the chorus; just when you think they can’t get any fiercer the clock like crash cymbal splashes into a continuously modulated frenzy that rivals The Beatles Day in The Life crescendo.
This is a good time to point out that the lyrics here are not Dylanesque. There is no fancy wordplay verses or anthemic choruses, but make no mistake about it Oozing Wound is the soundtrack waiting for the millennial generation to embrace. Fundamentally this is the kind of music their parents will squint at in a “this is what you listen to?” posture that will only make the kids want to crank it up to eleven.
The ten songs comprising Whatever Forever never veer away from the fundamentals of what make OW a band that should matter. You will find no ballads on Oozing Wound but You Owe Me, Iommi (a nod to the iconic Sabbath fret wizard) is an instrumental that allows Weil to express his melodic prowess. The album’s closer, Sky Creep wraps up this intense offering with a sludge groove that evolves into a machine gun splatter that left this writer wanting to delve into this groups back catalogue to fully understand their evolution.
This record was made in just three days but so was Sabbath’s first LP so you can decide if you will agree with me that this is every bit as authentic and inspiring.
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