Rotten Mind - Rotten Mind

by Nathan Fidler Rating:5 Release Date:2017-03-24

Scandinavians taking on sounds native from Britain and the US is nothing new, and Rotten Minds follow this tradition on their self-titled album, their second effort on Lövely Records.

It’s easy to say that bands like Rotten Minds have bags of pace, energy and attitude, because that’s what a small snippet would make you feel. While your instincts would serve you well, it doesn’t show the whole picture.

These Swedes have clearly been raised on a lean diet of Buzzcocks and other garage-punk bands. With crashing drums, angular guitars and a barked litany chorus hooks, their core values are realised perfectly in tracks like ‘Dark Intentions’ and ‘Wish You Were Gone’. However, you could say the whole, sounding quite the same throughout, is all the same.

Each song has it’s own punch, but relies on the same formula. Perhaps this is indicative of what people want in a guitar band these days, but after a listen through you won’t find much to go back for; it’s a case of “heard one, hear ‘em all”. ‘Real Lies’ contains a more distinctive guitar lead and solo, but on the whole the tracks are interchangeable.

What made The Hives so distinctive (and bear in mind this was over fifteen years ago), was the howl of the vocals and the rigidity of the riffs. Here, whether through the production or the writing, the songs lack distinctive features or character. The band play at breakneck pace just to get through to the end of each song, not out of some sense of urgency for the message, but to simply meet the standard of the genre.

Every once in awhile you’re hooked into a song by the chorus - most verses are forgettable - and the final track, ‘I Need You Now’ offers a lighter acoustic riff. “Oh I, Oh I need you now” is the desperate call, with more genuine feeling evoked than throughout the rest of the album.

In a genre which has already seen revitalisation in the last decade or so, you need to be offering something more than just a straightforward set of ten standard songs. A great drill run here, but nothing more.

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