What was once an irritated and distraught expression of mangled Los Angeles culture, Toxic Boy has grown to be much more than simply troubled. On “Rotten Love,” the latest from the twenty-something Southern California troubadour, Toxic Boy finds himself channeling more Nick Cave than Bradley Nowell.
Lush, gothic, and bitterly romantic, “Rotten Love” is Toxic Boy at the most vulnerable state to date – as well as his most relatable. It might have been easy to follow up “Hungover Again” with something perceivably grounded or a track as anthemic, but the latest track is incredibly familiar, tapping into a sense of collective dread.
“Rotten Love” is the manifestation of Toxic Boy being saved – albeit not in the evangelical sense. Instead, salvation for Toxic Boy lies through embracing a devil-may-care attitude in regards to whatever an eternity beyond may hold. Saved by skepticism, enraptured by the looming threat of mortality, Toxic Boy proves the kids don’t stand a chance.