Wounds deliver exactly what you would expect from a band who have toured with Gallows and Cancer Bats on their frantic and noisy debut offering. What becomes alarmingly apparent from pretty much the moment you put Wounds' debut album Die Young into your player is that this is not a band who are in the business of creating comfortable and safe music. Opening cut 'Killing Spree' flies out of the speakers at breakneck pace, with a sludgy bass, sledgehammer drums and a singer who sounds like he could use a soother. The song is overflowing with hooks underneath its noise attack which makes it quite a thrilling opener.
What follows seems like something of an immediate lull. Sure, 'Trouble For The Sake Of It' and 'Dead Dead Fucking Dead' are frenzied and riotous tracks, but somehow they just do not hit the peak that we were delivered to on the opening track. It is still jagged and noisy, but something just is not happening, so it is fortunate that the anthemic 'No Future' is next up. 'No Future' offers a great deal of snot, piss and vinegar to go along with the anticipated instrumental assault and its hedonistic lyrics are as good a mission statement as any.
It would seem that Wounds are capable of churning out these riff laden gut punches with their hands tied behind their backs, and the almost Black Flag workout of 'Bombs' and 'The Binge' demonstrate this talent, but it does get a little tiresome. Thankfully then, we also get a song like 'Choke', which steps back for a moment and works on creating a seriously creepy and twisted atmosphere instead of going straight for the jugular. Sadly, as with a great deal of the album, there is a crackling in the background which is a little distracting and detracts completely from the great performances. Whether this was a result of playing a little too loud in the studio or playing through equipment which is on its way out is unclear, but it does not seem loud enough to be a feature they were going for.
A little background hiss should not be a huge barrier though. When Die Young shines, it shines with a dizzying brightness. Here is a four piece who do not care about trends or 'crossing over'. We can forgive a few stumbles on a debut album, and if these guys stick with it, album number two could well be truly fierce.
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