Rotting Out have become hardcore royalty of sorts over the past couple of years. A record deal with Pure Noise mixed with a strong internet following has seen the LA band go from underground riot starters to leaders of all thing fast, hard and gritty. So in order to keep the masses satisfied before they follow up 13’s ‘The Wrong Way’ LP, they have been so kind as to put together an EP to quench the thirst and give us something new to soundtrack our failed attempts at ollies at the skate park.
Clocking in at just over 10 minutes, ‘Reckoning’ is a real blink-and-miss-it affair. Despite its short running time, this doesn’t stop the band from cramming in as many good vibes, mosh breaks and carefree aggression as they can. Using brooding samples before each song a dark picture of life on the streets is painted, a theme that has followed them throughout their breakneck career.
In terms of actual music, it’s 90mph without a seatbelt from the get go. Opener ‘Born’ kicks things into life with a frantically addictive 1-2 vocal exchange and thunderous mosh call/riff combo, ‘Eyes Wide’ is fast, direct and sure to have a few noses broken to it in the future and ‘End Of The Road’ possesses the sort of gang chant mic grabs were invented for and a thick grooving bassline that clings to the eardrum like tar. The band possesses no other intention than inciting as much unadulterated mayhem as possible and it’s as simple as that. Rotting Out have always held a “here for a good time, not a long time” philosophy in their music and ‘Reckoning’ seems to be propelling that stance far into the band’s future.
With last two songs, ‘Don’t Care’ and ‘Live Fast Die Young’, the band pay tribute to Circle Jerks, one of the forefathers of the genre, by giving their songs a meaty, refined finish; a world away from the scratchy, earthy sound that was a trademark of early hardcore punk recordings. On top of sounding absolutely thunderous, they also play a part in showing how far hardcore punk has come in 30 years and as well why it is still as relevant now as it ever was.
From beginning to end, ‘Reckoning’ is fast, ugly and raw as it comes. A breathless endeavor with bile soaked passion and gritty intent squeezed into every corner. If this is just a stop gap between albums, then what Rotting Out have still under covers could be set to launch them further towards hardcore punk folklore.
’Reckoning’ EP by Rotting Out is out now on Pure Noise Records.
Words by Jack Rogers (@JackMRog)