Rotten Sound - Under Pressure gatefold-LP (blue)


Rotten Sound's debut has a few problems. Sonically it's not like their other modern material. Grindcore is grindcore and Rotten Sound's leans toward death metal. That includes grooviness, ballistic riffing, thundering drums, and a stampeding tempo. It's velvety in aural comfort and is what makes the band one of my favorite grindcore acts. However, this debut doesn't have the same appeal. It all comes down to two major issues I have that make this album submit to a lower threshold of coolness - production and length.

In later albums, Rotten Sound are able to pack their short songs with indomitable and inimitable character. Such songs are memorable and juiced with endearing catchiness. That's not the case here, and the first strike goes to the production. It sounds so flat compared to the jarring polish in later albums. Even in an effort to drop the comparisons with the rest of the band's work, Under Pressure has an older death metal production job like Napalm Death's Harmony Corruption (but louder and more pronounced). It makes the listening experience tiring, and that leads to the second major problem - the length. Seriously a grindcore album should never be this long. While good songs are fantastic, if stretched to the point of the listener losing attention then it's worthless in the end. It may not seem like a long time but after the 11th song, seeing another 11 to go and diving in wears on my patience.