Ollie Ward has just started interning with me at Rarely Unable PR and with Southern Records. When we first met a few months ago we bonded over hardcore and crust punk and largely talked about Crass, his specialist subjects. At the end of his first week I set him to task in writing up a review of a record we both enjoy listening to on daily rotation, Burning Love’s Rotten Thing To Say which is out on Southern Lord in the UK/EU on Monday.
I am thoroughly impressed by this review and I daresay we can expect to see more words from him on site (if I can coax him into writing that is!) so watch this space and enjoy this knockout review…
Rotten Thing To Say is the second offering from Canadian hardcore punk n rollers, Burning Love, and their first release on Southern Lord Records, and I’m very excited about it.
The intro lulls you in to a false sense of… something, the sweet grooving lead guitars are like the charming drunk before someone says the wrong thing. In this case the wrong thing is No Love, the first full track on Rotten Thing To Say. This is when you know that this is still a hardcore record and this is when you feel the twisted, sharp venom of frontman, Chris Colohan who was known for in his former vehicle, hardcore myths, Cursed. This driving punk rock beats you around the head and face with the insidious, low, guttural, chant of “YOU GOTTA BE WRONG! YOU GOTTA BE WRONG!”
Rotten Thing To Say is a rock n roll frankenstein, it’s a relentless, haunted monster built from wailing rock n roll licks, driving hardcore beats and nihilistic punk rock rage with a skipping blues beat and a party vibe. It ranges from hardcore face-blasters like Made Out Of Apes to classic rock riffage of Damage Case with speed punk like Tremors in between. The record flows well. There is a noticeable pop sensibility in the way the songs are written and structured and how the album is arranged. You really get a sense of the identity of the members of Burning Love (that includes members of Ontario sludge band, Our Father) coming through in the sound and delivery of the songs.
Produced by Kurt Ballou of Converge, the sound is heavy, harsh and at times daunting. The artwork is minimal but twisted, featuring a skinned goats head resting in a nest of innards. This is a really exciting record. Don’t expect Cursed, it’s a different beast, but if you like Cursed you will enjoy Rotten Things To Say.