The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website


Black Pus/Oozing Wound
Split LP Nick Hutchings , September 4th, 2014 12:50

Rarely has such uncompromising music had such clarity and coherence. A split LP by the forensically named bands Black Pus and Oozing Wound may not attract a casual listener, but active, focused listening is a must to enjoy the sonic blast of metronomic fury that is Brian Chippendale's Black Pus. With Chippendale's day job in Lightning Bolt, his vocals consist of a contact microphone taped to his face and a Line 6 delay pedal to turn his already distorted warblings into oscillating overdrive. Here, as Black Pus, a project that has been more studio driven, Chippendale has taken the bold move to use clean vocals, to ease back on the lo-fi brain-busting hiss. And on lead track 'Blood Will Run' the hiss is not missed. Traditionally he has been reticent to not record anything that he couldn't replicate live on stage. But even an arch innovator has to work new angles to avoid being backed into a creative corner.

'Blood Will Run' starts off with toms like Tone Loc's 'Wild Thing' and the yelp "yo!" comes on like a noise-rock Skee-Lo, and then hurtles into an irresistible clatter of rhythm and an insistent chorus of "yeah yeah"s. At three and a half minutes in duration it signals Brian Chippendale's poppiest moment to date. But don't be fooled, he's not exposed a soft underbelly. The opening lyric (sung proper) goes "turn down the music, while I pull out my gun. If you don't listen, your blood will run". Now you can hear his menace in full clarity, and this truly is a tune with a tale. It's about a notorious incident of 17 year-old high school student Jordan Davis who was fatally shot by 45 year old Michael Dunn at a gas station in Jacksonville, Florida after the SUV in which Davis was a passenger refused to turn the volume down on their loud hip hop music. It's brutal subject matter dealt with in a way that's both super loud and hyper-real.

The Viking looking cover art is unsubtle and striking too. Chippendale has done this too, wearing another of his hats as a comic book artist. It's evil in tone and you'd be forgiven at first glance for thinking this is a metal record. It's not, but it does certainly get heavier with second track 'Total Eclipse', which is a ferocious blast of noise that clatters like a dustbin down a spiral staircase until it breaks down into a kind of creepy carousel with demented shouts echoing around a chamber of horrors.

If Black Pus are the more cerebral of the two, Oozing Wound are ready to bring their own universal order of Armageddon. The fact these Chicago thrashers state on their own Bandcamp page they are "three guys and the desire to slay" suggests these are unsophisticated but they are certainly purists with clarity of purpose.   The irresistibly titled 'Aging Punk' sounds like a thrash union of Pavement's 'Loretta's Scars' and frontman Zack Weil's vocals definitely have a touch of Malkmus and Mark E. Smith. These guys may have been brave to stand against the Lightning Bolt conductor of Chippendale's Black Pus but they aren't stupid. Having subbed four hours of recording into 15 minutes of pure noise, this is a corrosive calling card for a second album due soon. Oozing Wound clearly aren't ripping up the rulebook like their more esteemed colleague Chippendale on the flipside but it's hard to look away from this unpleasantly titled, but horribly good double act of violence.