Published Mar 14, 2019High Anxiety absolutely hates you. Making no bones of its disgust, from the opening track "Surrounded by Fucking Idiots," Oozing Wound take aim at everyone and everything, from flat Earthers to teenagers. Propelled by caustic and atonal riffs, they gnash with caveman precision. While one would never mistake them for Vektor, the Chicago three-piece is as grotesque and oblique as their moniker would imply.
Carving out riffs that seem to be more designed to annoy than make you bang your head, High Anxiety's seven tracks are a rampaging tour de force. As the band tantrums like the protagonist of "Tween Shitbag," Oozing Wound thrash corrosively, almost defying the listener to turn away. They reach their most challenging on "Birth of a Flat Earther," with the band seemingly attempting to pulverize the listener with endless repetitive dissonant chords churned out at a glacial pace.
High Anxiety can at times feel like an exercise in frustration, as the band merrily confront their audience, almost to the point of sheer antagonism. It's evident that Oozing Wound are not here for your amusement so much as theirs. But as temperamental as the band may be, for those willing to indulge the band's proclivities, High Anxiety is a highly enjoyable filth-encrusted bludgeoning and thrilling catharsis of angular grumping. (Thrill Jockey)