Following on from 2019’s High Anxiety, We Cater to Cowards contains 41 minutes of new material. However, this is not the same band we encountered on High Anxiety.
Oozing Wound’s music can still be loosely categorised as crossover thrash at a push, I suppose, but there is a lot more interesting stuff going on here than on the majority of albums that are tagged like that. We Cater to Cowards is much more of a melting pot of punk, thrash metal, grunge, and alternative rock elements.
The grunge influence in the music is particularly interesting, and has taken over from some of the thrashier aspects that were more prevalent on High Anxiety. This has only improved the music though, and We Cater to Cowards is packed with catchy and memorable tracks. Each cut makes its own way on the album, but they also collude holistically so that it flows as a complete work.
The songs are well-written and boast a multitude of different creative ideas, dynamics, structures, and influences across its running time. There’s a lot more emphasis on groove, but I also find the album a lot more atmospheric and mood-focused, especially on some songs. Much of the album is a vibrant cocktail of compelling groove and danceable beats, and Oozing Wound’s latest is very moreish because of this. I also appreciate the bursts of frenzied aggression that occur here and there too, such as on Hypnic Jerk.
We Cater to Cowards has rhythmic hooks aplenty, and the stylistic shift is significant enough to be noticeable, but not so significant as to sound like a completely different band. Nirvana are an obvious reference point, but I’m also reminded of bands like Mantar, Fudge Tunnel, and Godflesh in places, (the latter in some of the hypnotic drums/bass and the way they make me just want to moooooove). Parts of the album also make me think of Wool, only with harsher vocals.
Well, here I was expecting another thrash-fest from Oozing Wound, when the band had other, better ideas. We Cater to Cowards has all of the ingredients of an underground hit, and I hope it gets the exposure it deserves.
Very highly recommended.