Wounded Tongue come out of the gates swinging with their new EP Our Children’s Throats. After the blistering blast of staccato riff dissonance, this South Carolina quartet switches up their repertoire quickly. Even the opening track, “Faceless Face Devoid,” stacks elusive elements in the background; specifically, the ghostly clean vocals that hang behind the off-balance riffs that never stop coming. The realness of Wounded Tongue’s emotional expression takes precedence over all else here, as the polish is perfectly low and production is nice and raw. Track two, “Karma Babylon,” exemplifies this by keeping things short and fast, but still allowing the guitar melodies to stand out, without sounding anything except absolutely ferocious.
By the time the needle gets to the third track, everyone in the audience can feel what’s looming. This softer buildup is only a moment for everyone to look around, to see how big the pit is, to see how badly the other wolf or gladiator is bleeding, to pause for breath before re-entering the fray. The atonal guitar line might as well be the bell announcing the next round, as flesh flies across frets. This track pummels the hardest on the EP. I’m reminded throughout of Swedish mathcore flayers Knut, or even Pelican’s out of control parasitic twin Tusk.
Track four, “Hand Over Hand Over Money,” finds the listener at the very end of the long haul. Like the man who wakes up with his head in hands knowing that he has no choice but to keep fighting, to return to the grind that wears him down. The spoken words in this track feel like the man has finally had enough of spewing the same grievances, voice rising to a warcry as his grievances build to roars.
The closing track, “Love is My Religion,” sees Wounded Tongue at their lengthiest, at five and a half minutes. Dropping down to quiet, almost moody segments, this track is the most dynamic and hints at post-hardcore elements in the vein of Fall of Efrafa, or even Cult of Luna, but with much more immediacy. Without being as rambunctious as the other tracks, the closing track carries a feeling of pensiveness, if not weariness. The whole EP gives a feeling of being tired of the same old shit, and with members hearkening back to Guyana Punchline, Antischism, Burnt Books, Nailbiter and others, it’s easy to imagine the members feeling pretty similar to this. Sick of year after year, decade after decade, of the same bastards still trying to tell everyone what to think, how to feel, and exactly what we should be putting down our children’s throats. If you’re sick of this shit as much as they are, pick up this sick single-side 12” (only one side has grooves, but both sides have etchings. A PLAYABLE FUCKING ETCHING) via Burnt Bridges Records and Anti-Corp Records. And look for secrets.