The press release for New Jersey’s Old Wounds new EP “Old Wounds II” makes much of their melding of several styles of metal into these three, fast, action packed songs. They report excitedly of crust and doom riffs played at hardcore pace etc. I’m not sure I’m so easily impressed by what is essentially a hardcore record without the slavish adherence to avoiding metals flourishes and flamboyance.
Have you ever been given a box of Cadbury’s Heroes chocolates? Full of smaller versions of the chocolate ‘classics’. You see a mini Mars bar and think ‘ooh Mars, not had one of those in ages’. So you enjoy it for 30 seconds and then move on. The novelty’s passed. At the end of the day, it’s just a mini Mars bar, and so is this EP.
While it’s certainly true that Old Wounds swap and blur genres with alarming speed and dexterity it cannot be said that this is anyway serves to produce great songs. The experience is more like hearing the first 20 seconds of various tracks from an album, before jumping to the next. It’s never boring, but it lacks any cohesion or over-riding identity.
It may be against Old Wounds whole ethos, but they could do with chilling out, relaxing and let the riffs run for a while and stop worrying about being edgy or clever. Experimentation and change are, of course, vital in music, not to the extent, however, where it if leaves the listener entirely alienated or uninvolved. I have listened to these tracks repeatedly and could not tell which was which if you played me a snippet of either. Though I’d be happy to jump up and down and headbang at any point!