Released a large handful of weeks back, Unflavored is the new album from ROTTEN MIND and yet another incitement from the Swedish quartet which demands attention.
The band’s rapacious sound, a mix of punk rock, garage punk, and post punk, is as hungry and invasively virulent as ever and even more creatively animated and ferocious than before. Unflavored sees ROTTEN MIND draw out the dark wave instincts and voracious shadows which have always lined their music but finding its own distinct body of temptation within the band’s rousingly raucous multi-faceted proposal. At times the album gets under the skin like a trespass akin to a feral mix of Theatre of Hate, Birdland, and The Vibrators infested with the dark voracity of Crows but burrows far deeper with the band’s uniqueness of creative clamour which first garnered rich acclaim within their 2015 debut album, I’m Alone Even With You. By the record ROTTEN MIND has pushed, stretched and evolved their sound and now with their fifth full-length have cast another landscape of esurient temptation.
From its first breath Unflavored proves a merciless incitement and persuasion, opener Inflammable cantering through ears with sonic enticement and the greedily manipulative rhythms of drummer Victor Nordin. It is in top gear from the start, a heady canter of punk contagion spun by the welcomingly nagging bass of Liz Panella and the sonic voraciousness of guitarists Johan Sverredal and Jakob Arvidsson whose vocals are just as welcomingly trespassing and infectious.
It is a greedy and greedily devoured start more than matched in both urges by the following pair of Serpent Eyes and Die Young. The first drops down a gear but is no less persistent in its presence and creative proposals, the post punk instincts of the first more pronounced in the song’s untamed yet skilfully cast rock ‘n’ roll while the second also has an incessant hunger to it which burrowed as deep as its rhythmic predation and sonic cyclone.
Nordin’s dexterous swings and incitements find a new appetite in orchestrating bodies within (I Ain’t) One to Talk next, his beats as equally catchy and belligerent as Arvidsson’s vocal intent and the cunning sonic clamour of guitars. Similarly the grumble of Panella’s bass is an irrepressible lure just as within its successor No Dedication and its post punk drama and dark wave haunted espionage of emotive dilemma. For all the noise the band conjure there is also a compelling hollow resonance to tracks and no more irresistible than within this orchestration of the imagination and rock ‘n’ roll instincts.
The album’s title track is next and again the band immediately get to work getting under the skin with rhythmic and sonic nagging before uncaging an infection loaded, alt rock flirting uproar. The variety of imagination and flavouring within the record and Rotten Mind’s sound is in full flow and as richly soaking the subsequent contagions of the Warsaw hued Empty Generation and Lose Lose with its raucous Buzzcocks-esque poppiness.
Ensuring our addiction to the release could not waver, Unflavored unleashed the full viral qualities and menace bearing enterprise of Mysterious Man and the garage rock imbued angst and defiance of Drifter with equal compliance draw by Degenerates with its vociferous unfaltering of noise and emotively adamant uproar. As all tracks, each of the three hooked like an obsessive fisherman and all galvanised the punk spirit.
With album closing Filled With Poison thrusting one final infestation of post punk anxiety and undiluted rhythmic orchestration wrapped in sonic and almost toxically melodic enterprise upon the senses, Unflavored, a deceitful title given the album’s enterprise and sound, is a major beacon in a year already lit by many rich enlivening lights.
Unflavored is out now via Lövely Records digitally and on Vinyl and CD; available @ https://rottenmind-official.bandcamp.com/
Pete RingMaster 19/05/2022
Copyright RingMaster Review