Flesh Wounds is doing some sonic damage these days with visceral, humorous material. The Carrboro-based band twisted Merge Records’ ear and rewarded the local uber-independent label with such amusing but intense cuts as “Smoking Crack With My Friend Jeff,” “CH Drivers Are High” and “Joy Division Killed My . . .” (for family newspaper purposes, let’s just say mood).
“We’re one of those ‘kill your idols’ bands,” vocalist-guitarist Montgomery Morris says while calling from his Carrboro home. “Who doesn’t love Joy Division? But we don’t take ourselves too seriously.”
That’s part of what makes Flesh Wounds such an intriguing band. Flesh Wounds hits with dark, direct punk rock. Morris wails and drummer Laura King slams her way through the band’s infectious rave-ups.
No wonder Merge Records was attracted to the trio, which also includes bassist Geoff Schilling. They’re touring now with Merge co-founder Mac McCaughan, who also co-founded the band Superchunk, and open for him Saturday at the Cat’s Cradle.
“It’s been so cool opening for Mac, and we’re his backing band as well,” Morris says. “We learned a lot by being around him. He’s a great writer and musician and that’s what I aspire to. Everybody loves Superchunk. They’re local heroes here. It’ll be fun playing with him.”
Morris grew up in Rockingham and moved to Raleigh when he went to the University of North Carolina in 2001.
“At that point I didn’t know much about music except Nirvana and Soundgarden,” Morris says. “Part of my education in college was learning all about punk rock. I didn’t know much about it, but I embraced it at UNC.”
After graduating with an English degree, Morris taught at Northwood High School in Chapel Hill for four years, but the job wasn’t conducive to his rocker lifestyle. “That was not what I wanted to do,” Morris says. “Getting up every day at 5:30 a.m. was horrible. You can’t tour when you’re teaching at a school every day. I needed more flexibility.”
Morris is on the payroll now at All Day Records in the distribution department. “It’s great to have a job that gives me the flexibility to be a musician,” Morris says. “It gives me the chance to tour. I have fun on the road but I love it when I’m back here. Carrboro is this amazing little town.”
Morris is counting the days till Flesh Wound’s hometown show at the Cradle. “It’s always cool to play such a short distance from where I live,” Morris says. “But the most significant thing is playing in front of friends, and it just makes me appreciate living in such an amazing place. It’s quite a contrast from where I grew up in rural North Carolina.”
And if you’re looking for Morris just hanging out in Carrboro, odds are that he’ll be chowing down at one of his favorite spots.
“I love Carrburritos,” Morris says. “They make some sick burritos. I like Carrboro Pizza Oven. I’ve got to eat for the energy to make music and there’s plenty of places here. There’s no place like Carrboro.”
Who: Flesh Wounds, opening for Mac McCaughan
When: 9 p.m. Saturday
Where: Cat’s Cradle, 300 E. Main St., Carrboro
Info: 919-967-9053 or catscradle.com