Friday, May 21, 2010

Rotten Sound - Still Psycho

Rotten Sound - Still Psycho
2000, Necropolis/DeathVomit Records

On one level or another, you've just got to admire grindcore bands: they take all the over-inflated pretentiousness of the death or hardcore scenes, reduce those styles to their most simplistic core sounds, and then twist them into some new bastard amalgamation that is pressed to the extreme for the sheer sake of extremity. Grindcore bands are almost always completely honest with their music and their interactions with their audience because they hardly ever have anything musical to hide behind. No, it's all there on the surface for rapid injection into your ears, and there aren't any hidden meanings to puzzle over, conundrums to untwist, or levels of subterfuge to penetrate. It's very refreshing in its own way. Rotten Sound are one of the great ones, a truly admirable grind band, and one that (as far as I can tell) do not try to pander to the lowest tastes with senseless gorecore nonsense or find themselves hopelessly mired in the limitations of their own chosen genre. Taking influence from such seminal bands as Napalm Death and ENT (so states their bio), and combining those derivations with a monstrously heavy guitar sound (closer to Carcass than any other band), a smoking machine-gun stuck on automatic fire for a drummer, and alternating high and low screaming vocals (this works so well in grindcore bands, doesn't it?), Rotten Sound offer you six tracks on this EP - including a cover version of the aforementioned Carcass's 'Reek of Putrefaction' that absolutely slays.

One of this EP's more amusing characteristics is the attempt of these hardy Finns to mouth/pronounce the lengthy English medical terminology in this song. On a few occasions Carcass's poetry of pathology completely throws them off pace, as it doesn't mix very well with their glottal, tonsil-rattling Northern accents: watch for the 'insert the bungs' line and try not to laugh. You can't fault them for trying - they obviously love Carcass.

Come to think of it, this band's music does have a few precedents...does anyone remember The Filthy Christians?

I know that I can not possibly take more than 15 or 20 minutes of this kind of music at a time, as it just wears me down psychologically, so the 16:39 of music here is just about perfect for listening to in a single sitting. Highlights include the first song 'Perfection' which sounds like a cross between Grave and Mentally Murdered-era ND, and the excellent second track 'Ignorance' which combines just the right amount of blasting chaos and bottom-heavy groove to bring the walls crashing down in any club this Finnish band played in. The production on this EP is also very, very good - just about perfect for their style. Napalm Death? They sound like the obsolete dinosaurs they are in the wake of this. Barney and the other blokes: your death knell has sounded, we give you five minutes to bow out gracefully.

This is just one of those CDs you can listen to over and over, without getting tired of it...excellent.