Album Review: Rotting Out – “The Wrong Way”

Album Review: Rotting Out – “The Wrong Way”

This is the music your mother warned you about.  And it’s freakin’ fantastic.

Rotting Out’s new LP, “The Wrong Way” is entirely SoCal hardcore.  After a brief intro of the sound of skateboard wheels against cement, Rotting Out barrel headfirst into a sonic bombardment of 30 minutes of “Woahhh” choruses and pounding baselines. For only a second LP, the sound here is tight, cohesive, and driven. Unrelenting to a fault, Rotting Out is playing a sound strongly reminiscent of the bleakness and rage found in classic hardcore albums from the 80’s.

Rambunctious, self-aware, and introspective, “The Wrong Way” is honest in its depiction of emotion bubbling to the surface.  Slower songs on the album are played with the same urgency and guttural screaming as the up-tempo tracks; it’s really only in comparison they are slow at all.   As raw and honest as the lyrics are, nothing here is saccharine or needlessly melodramatic.

“Stab”, a slower track, upholds the center of the album, marinating on “What would you do if it was you? This is a turning point.” A contentiously pivotal moment in the speaker’s life, and the album, the guitars swell up into a rapid fire conclusion- eschewing the gentler beginnings of the track and dive-bombing into the pounding drums of the following “The Shoot Out”, a song build to start mosh pits and the starter of hundreds of new dumb ideas.

The overall brevity of the album leads to several songs that are over before they are truly enjoyed. Far from non-starters, these blasts of sound feel like a throwback to the age of cramming as much noise into a little space on a mixed tape as physically possible. While a bit nostalgic and perhaps even anachronistic, The Wrong Way is overall doing what it wants to do, and doing it well. The closer, “Bangarang”, is grand without being self-indulgent. Screaming vocal and chugging sounds sound like something from Snapcase, raised on Pennywise and Suicidal Tendencies .

This is the album to play as you smash in the windows of an abandoned factory in the wrong part of town. Its music that makes you remember how strange it felt to be 18 and both nothing at all and everything at once. Its music you itch to see played live, because you know the crowd won’t stand still for a second of the set.

 4.5/5 Stars

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