[27th February 2013]
01. Shallow Water
03. Bitter Days
04. Born To Mourn
07. Deviant Mode
11. New Fortunes
12. From Where We Came Is Where We’ll Rest
NJ hardcore band Old Wounds have finally unleashed their first LP upon the masses, after teasing us with two great EPs in previous years. Myself and The Quigs met these fine young gentlemen during a record store day performance in 2011 while most of their members were still in high school. The band had a great sense of crust punk and hardcore about them, and their vocalist blared out his lungs to get the music across to the assembled crowd.
The musical style presented on From Where We Came Is Where We’ll Rest is quite the departure for the band. They kept their aesthetic old-school on the EPs Sleeper and Terror Eyes, however this has been replaced with more of an emphasis on a The Dillinger Escape Plan style of quirkiness. Of the twelve songs, only four clock in more than two minutes apiece, and as such this album flies by in under 25 minutes – much as a good hardcore album should do (the feeling of a drive-by shooting comes to mind; fast, furious, and a sense of not quite knowing what happened).
The album really gets going in the right direction with tracks like ”Bitter Days“; sounds from the Louisiana swamps bringing vibes of Phil Anselmo, Mike Williams (Eyehategod), and guitar work remniscent of Jimmy Bower combined with Buddy Apostolis (Buzzov*en). The band flip back to the DEP-themed craziness on “Born To Mourn” (of course, this is minus the insane Greg Puciato vocal sections), and it is refreshing to see the band change direction so much and not lose a single bit of their punch. Old Wounds are able to do just that.
Crushing sections of dominating drums make the album’s longest track (as well as the shortest title) “Void” worthy of its name; the oppressive atmosphere the song provides, with all the feedback of the thickest of sludge metal, again showcases a change of pace from earlier album material. With too many bands today focused on silly breakdowns and vocals that fail to get the message across, From Where We Came brings about a challenge to those other bands who cannot do the same damage that Old Wounds can with too much going on. While this isn’t simple music, the approach is grassroots – and that is something to be thankful for.
I was initially not so enamored with this effort, as it saw the band drop a lot of their previous sound, however on repeated listens each and every track on this album has its niche, and since I listen to a variety of music often, the constant stop and start of aggression and fury reminds me a lot of the pacing of an early Fugazi song. Ultimately, this album will win the band a lot more fame – especially those in the Converge and the aforementioned The Dillinger Escape Plan circles. If you enjoy hardcore with variety, say hello to Old Wounds.