|Wounds - 'Die Young' (In At The Deep End Records)|
|Written by Gaz E|
|Friday, 25 January 2013 02:00|
A young band releasing their debut album with nary a "world domination" or likewise press sheet cliché to have to tut at? Thank you, I'll have some of that.
Y'see, Dublin outfit Wounds have such an incident-smeared back story to their still-fresh musical career that the generic scribblings of an unimaginative press officer were the furthest things from the collective mind of a frenetic four piece who have already, even though only forming in 2010, experienced major troughs - with 'Die Young', the band's ten track stormer of a debut long player, the peaks are sure to follow to readdress the balance.
With a well-received debut EP - 'Dead, Dead Fucking Dead' - and support slots with the likes of Cancer Bats, Sharks and Gallows, the future for Wounds looked so bright that they'd have to wear shades....not bandages. Disaster would hit though, and hard. Guitarist James Coogan fell from a fourth floor balcony in a freak accident and though miraculously surviving to tell the tale - his very own wound is the one that adorns the debut album cover - was told by doctors that he would never pick up a guitar again. With his brother, the band's frontman Aidan Coogan, at his bedside, the musician's recovery would provide the inspiration for a killer cut titled 'Desperate Times', the lyric "these desperate times, they made us" an understandable call to arms behind an album that would capture a band with an almost bulletproof veneer coating their hides. The times, sadly, were about to get ever more desperate.
The Coogan brothers, in the studio working on this noisily essential album with bassist Aaron McGrath and drummer Craig McCann, lost their father to terminal illness. The album's brooding closing track, 'Dead Road', would be the result of another knife in the heart of the band. "I still talk to you sometimes..."
With the dark places that the band had visited being channelled so expertly into their music Wounds started rubbing shoulders with cool contemporaries at the tail end of 2012, featuring alongside Gallows and Feed The Rhino on the Send More Paramedics tribute put out by In At The Deep End in time for Halloween. Now, 'Die Young', if there's any justice, or hope, left in this fractured music business, should propel the lads even further up the fevered food chain.
'Killing Spree' opens the record and, immediately, you can see why Wounds have toured with, and been grouped with, the likes of the aforementioned bands; it's loose, noisy genius that has enough melodic suss to hop sub-genres. 'Trouble For The Sake Of It' houses a shoutalong hook - "we get up, we go out, we get fucked" - so massive that you can't listen to it without picturing a swell of fans screaming it back at the band in a packed, sweaty venue. The lead track of the band's debut EP, 'Dead, Dead Fucking Dead', follows and, again, is huge of chorus and attitude - think Oz garage punks Dangerous! jamming with The Smoking Hearts. In fact, if you need a line of comparison for Wounds lock that one into your head.
'No Future' should have an anti-social behaviour order made against it; check out the ludicrous debauchery of its accompanying music video for proof. Another great tune though. 'Choke' comes out of left field and offers the album its first real curveball; it's a bleak, '80s-tinged moody piece that is equal parts alt-noir and death rock. Its pace gives the listener a welcome breather that doesn't last too long as 'Bombs' explodes out of the virtual grooves, a bass-heavy hooligan that flatters to deceive with its initial verse before tearing throats out. 'Binge' is surprisingly subtle given its title, if a song dropping the c-bomb and screaming "this is a slow suicide" could ever be described as subtle.
The lyrics to 'The Pile' perhaps some up the spirit of this band and the thinking behind 'Die Young', my favourite album of the year so far. Not that my opinion matters.....
"We don't need your fucking approval, we do this for ourselves..."