Even if you don’t know who Chris Colohan is, or what his previous projects are, it’s damn near impossible to listen to Rotten Things to Say and not make a connection, at least audibly to his earlier project, Cursed. Now, I loved Cursed. They were one of my favorite bands and like my taste has changed, Colohan’s has evolved a little bit. I say evolved because it implies for the better, or at least more fitting to this environ of a war and violence filled world.
Burning Love‘s Rotten Things to Say is not metal. It’s not hardcore. But it is somewhere in between. The aggression found in hardcore is there but the riffs and breaks all scream good old fashioned rock and roll. Just the “Intro” alone tells you this band has their shit together, even if it is in the form of a shit-eatin’ grin. But don’t let that catch you off-guard because “No Love” immediately busts through the wall and goes for your throat.
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If you thought the album art was grotesque, it’s with reason. The third track, “Karla” is about Canada’s most notorious serial killers, Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo. Talk about morbid. But when compared to the next cut (no pun there), “Superstitious Friend”, it fits. Well, more like it crams in there, like a chopped up body in a suitcase. This one’s got rhythm, groove and just enough attitude. The riffs are addicting and the drums will have your leg rockin’.
Rotten Things to Say is a bit of an undertaking. With 14 tracks, including the intro and outro, it requires your undivided attention. A by-product of this is that you fixate on the more compelling tracks, or tracks composed with a bit of controversy. For this reason, it’s hard to not zone out for the next three tracks and pick up at “Hateful Comforts”, or Colohan’s well-composed, verbal lashing at the downright racism that resulted after 9/11. It’s painfully obvious but damn, is it effective. Then, they follow up with “Tremors”. Hold on to your seat for that one…
The rest of the album is as successful as my first impression. Burning Love is a new leaf for Colohan and the rest of the band. I don’t often throw this around but it’d be an act of terrorism to pass this one up. Much like Cursed, a band who’s still receiving accolades after their demise, Burning Love will be a band that will resonate through your collection. A must-have and while you’re at it, scoop the vinyl and a shirt for $23 at Southern Lord.