Design By Humans
Published On: Thu, Aug 4th, 2016

Head Wound City: A New Wave of Violence

head wound cityHead Wound City
A New Wave of Violence
(Vice Music)

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In 2005, members of The Blood Brothers, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and The Locust got together under the name Head Wound City, recorded an EP, and promptly went about their business. That EP was a 10-minute blast of intricate noise with song titles that all seemed like jokes. It’s a great listen if you’re into that sort of thing. It also seemed like the epitome of a one-off project. Then in 2014, they reunited out of nowhere for a couple shows and now they have a brand new album.

On A New Wave of Violence, Head Wound City sounds like a band, not just a project. The basic sound is the same, with a focus on noise, speed, and aggression, but here the songs sound more developed. For instance, the excellent “I Cast a Shadow For You” would have been out of place on their self-titled EP. There wouldn’t have been enough time for something that melodic and medium tempo. On that song as well as a few others, Jordan Blilie sings in his regular voice rather than his paint-peeling scream. They absolutely have not gone soft though. “I Wanna Be Your Original Sin” clocks in at under a minute and is pure, nasty fun. “Scraper” begins with a guitar that sounds like the titular object is working its way around the inside of your skull. Head Wound City as an album band has the ability to take their dark vision to new territories. This is most evident on the closing track “Love is Best.” Don’t let that title fool you; it’s the most terrifying song on the album. It’s slow and is an unprecedented four minutes long. After the screechy bursts of many of the other songs, “Love is Best” feels oppressive. Whether or not Head Wound City go on to record anything else, they’ve made something that establishes them as more than a mere half-serious experiment. They’ve made an excellent rock album.

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Head Wound City: A New Wave of Violence