In the wake of Cacaw’s 2011 split, Chicago veterans Zack Weil and Kyle Reynolds formed Oozing Wound with bassist Kevin Cribbin. Perhaps the most surprising thing about this group of acid-singed doom rockers is their straightforward, pummeling thrash. If Cacaw, Bad Drugs, and Unmanned Ship are linked in their strange brew of outsider grunge, Oozing Wound give no quarter with their nimble metal performance.
On their debut tape, Vape and Pillage (Rotted Tooth), Oozing Wound present four songs that move between slamming low-end riffs and screaming vocals and repetitive, percussive guitar leads and powerful bass. On even the heaviest songs, there’s a scarcity of elements that makes everyone stand out. Alongside crisp distortion, the group recorded their songs in a clean, direct way. Emerging from this crystal clear aesthetic, the band projects a precise, calculated sound.
“Two Forces” perfectly combines these elements into dramatic trade-offs between ringing bass notes, frantic picking, and propulsive drums that explode like a punk anthem. Against the screaming, intense verses, the group provide melodic interludes that showcase the band’s surprisingly delicate interplay. By contrast, “Highway to the Green Mind” finds the trio locked into a monolithic stream of chord shifting and riffing. Rhythmic breaks and sick stops populate “Autopsy Turvy” and “Sustained by Hatred.”
At their best, Oozing Wound present convincing evidence in favor of the virtues of straightforward hardcore. Teetering on the edges of unrestrained thrash and doom, the group throws aside chances at individual virtuosity to showcase their skills and precision as a trio. Heavy, no bullshit.