Words: James Frostick
Band pic: Bill Golding
Draped in black leather and black denim, Melbourne’s full-moon rock’n’rollers ROT T.V. are on the cusp of dropping their very first 7-inch single. The single’s A-side track F.D.A. is a suitably full-throttle introduction. Here – fuelled by a hungry intensity and boasting a carnivorous edge – ROT T.V. circles like a pack of predatory animals, gradually wearing down your defences until they’re close enough to bite.
Halloween is still just over a month away, but I’m going to go ahead and label ROT T.V.’s ‘F.D.A’. as the 2019 edition’s official anthem. Vampiric cover art aside, the band’s new single is loaded with an unsettled savagery – one pushed even more off-kilter by some intangible magick. The band plays like they’re a pack of werewolves on the cusp of their monthly howl fest, or like they’re reliving Friday the 13th as if it was Groundhog Day. They’re on edge, is what I mean to say. Tightly coiled hard rock is ROT T.V.’s bag – diesel-powered, white-knuckled riffs, relentless stick work, a malleable low end groove, vocals that sit somewhere between gritted-teeth snarl and unmuzzled shout. I’m not fully across the band’s background (one filmed performance labels them a supergroup of sorts), but I recognise familiar faces from groups such as Miss Destiny and Rabid Dogs – both bang-up hard-rockin’ outfits. The pedigree is there, the talent is real.
Lyrically, ‘F.D.A.’ seems to be about a hunt. The search for a thrill, the stalking of prey, the pursuit of sustenance, the appeasement of appetite. The narrative’s wayward wanderer boasts a troubled mind – a self-described mental case looking for something to make them feel ‘dead alive’. Us listeners are the unsuspecting dupe. We’re the target of interest, and while there’s a shifty intent lingering over proceedings, we’re still easily swayed. We never heard the wolves howling. We never saw them circling, either. But I guarantee we’ll feel their teeth. Above the sonic savagery, one particular line sticks out: “I cant wait to sink my teeth into what’s left of you“. RIP.