Released: 2013, Relapse Records
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
I love me some Rotten Sound. I mean, c’mon – who doesn’t? These Fins know their grindcore, and I can’t recall the troop ever releasing anything that could be considered subpar. Their latest EP release SPECIES AT WAR is no exception to their track record of quality aural blitzkriegs, sticking to the recipe that their fans have come to know and love - short, punctuated epileptic blasts of white noise Euro grind. Intended to be a stopgap release between 2011’s excellent CURSED and their next full length offering, SPECIES AT WAR succeeds at whetting the appetites of their rabid fanbase, but it’s fleeting runtime makes it feel a bit like a grindcore cocktease.
SPECIES AT WAR clocks in at a whopping 8 minutes. 6 tracks, 8 minutes. Now it’s 8 minutes of the most potent and virulent Rotten Sound that we’ve yet experienced from the band, but c’mon. Even the NAPALM EP managed to crack a double digit runtime. Okay, I’m greedy – so what? SPECIES AT WAR is executed in a particularly frantic fashion, immediately launching into a full sprint from opening of “Cause” and relentlessly beating you with a steel toed boot through the closing resonance of “Peace”. Only the charismatically doomy riffs of “The Game” take a moment to breathe, before pressing the “puree” button again. It’s the shortest track of the lot here, but it stood out the most and I’d love to hear the band explore more territory in this vein.
But then it’s done. In little more than a quarter of the time it’d take you to watch a Family Guy rerun, the party’s over and you’re left wanting more, maybe feeling even a wee bit shortchanged. An opportunity cost of bands like Rotten Sound releasing EPs I suppose, but considering that an EP with 20-30 minutes worth of music will set you back as many shekels as what SPECIES AT WAR will, it can be a tough argument to support if you’ve only got so much change to part with for new music.
But if you’ve got the dough to spare and need a brief grindcore diversion, SPECIES AT WAR is a great way to go. Rotten Sound are Rotten Sound, and you know what you’re gonna get with Rotten Sound. For a few bucks more, the Relapse Records store has some bundle offers that make it a more palatable purchase option, particularly a limited run of sexy lookin’ 12” vinyl with etched b-side. SPECIES AT WAR is available now.