Burning Love: Rotten Thing To Say

Burning Love Rotten Thing to Say Southern Lord

I’ve always had an affinity for Canadian hardcore. Yannick’s  label, Great American Steak Religion (now Feral Ward) played a  significant part. The mid 90s was a great time for Canadian hardcore and bands like Shotmaker, Chokehold, One Eyed God Prophecy and the mind blowing Union of Uranus all released material via Yannick’s label. Cursed seemed like the heirs apparent to this proud tradition; they seem an appropriate place to start a discussion of Burning Love.

When people talk about Cursed they talk about how it all ended. I’m often struck by Hunter S Thompson when I think of that night in Germany. In Fear and Loathingin Las Vegas Thompson wrote:

Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run… but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant…
History is hard to know, because of all the hired bullshit, but even without being sure of ‘history’ it seems entirely reasonable to think that every now and then the energy of a whole generation comes to a head in a long fine flash, for reasons that nobody really understands at the time — and which never explain, in retrospect, what actually happened….
And that, I think, was the handle — that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply PREVAIL. There was no point in fighting — on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave…
So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill ….. and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark — that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.

Hardcore, for me at least, has always engendered a sort of esprit de corps. Perhaps that’s why Chris Colohan’s announcement, via Cursed’s blog, all of the band’s passports and money were stolen from a supposedly secure room in a German squad resonated with me. Colohan later described the action as, “a bullet in the head for the band,” and he was right. Cursed died that day, betrayed by a community that purported to be so much more. The wave broke in Mulhiem and the band was pulled under.

Endings create beginnings, and so it is with Colohan and Burning Love. Rotten Thing to Say is the band’s second LP but the first to find vocalist Colohan well and truly out from Cursed’s shadow. The record itself is more Tubronegro than Totalitär but the increased emphasis on rock’n  roll riffs serves the band well. That isn’t to say it is devoid of darker hardcore elements. Tracks like “Tremors” and the instrumental “12:31” bear a bit more than a passing resemblance to some of Cursed’s fare. This may owe something to the record having been culled from 2 years worth of material. The band’s real strength lies in tracks like “Karla”, “Made Out of Apes and “Pig City II”. Here, Burning Love effectively fuse hardcore sensibility with rock’n roll riffs and more developed song structure. It also never hurts to have Kurt Ballou and his God City magic in your corner.

Rotten Thing to Say  is an excellent sophomore effort and I encourage folks to head down to their nearest independent record store and pick it up. If you can’t find it in your area the fine folks at Southern Lord are always happy to help. Burning Love have just wrapped up a US/Canadian summer tour with a variety of Southern Lord colleagues. October/November should see them out on the US East coast and South so keep an eye out.

– Captain of Games

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