Modern Ruin by Frank Carter & The RattlesnakesRelease date: January 27, 2017
Label: International Death Cult / Kobalt Music Services
From his days fronting Gallows, Frank Carter has built a body of very impressive work. Since leaving the UK punk heroes, he has gone on to write and record with Pure Love and now The Rattlesnakes, and each release has shown growth in his song writing skills, both offering something different while keeping hold of that raw edge that has served him so well with previous bands.
This is the second album from The Rattlesnakes and builds well from their previous effort right from the very start. After opening with the short, serene intro of ‘Bluebell’, the album launches into ‘Lullaby’ that sounds very Muse like in the way it’s very loud and brash, but also tightly controlled and not too threatening. After this comes ‘Snake Eyes’ with its dark, twisted approach, it could easily come from the pen and voice of Therapy?’s Andy Cairns with lines such as “what did I do last night and should I be ashamed”.
This amalgam of styles recurs throughout the record with its anger and venom sitting side by side with its more mellower, contemplative side. For every track like ‘Acid Veins’ with its slow chilled out vibe, there is a track like the sub 60-second punk blast of ‘Jackals’ to balance it out, and that what is really impressive about this album. It switches between moods effortlessly and successfully, and even combine the two styles on songs like ‘Thunder’, which starts slow before building in anger and intensity. The title track is another snarled track before the closer, which seems at first to be ending the album on a more relaxed vibe before Frank’s raw and desperate vocals close the album and in a whirlwind the album is over, and slightly disappointed that there isn’t any more tracks.
A fine addition to an already decent body of work, Frank Carter has evolved album-by-album and band-by-band to become one of the country’s most consistent writers. Couple this with the explosive live performances (regularly selling out entire tours rather than single shows) and we have someone who should be one of the biggest artists around. It seems that recently (and definitely on this album) Frank Carter has looked to find that mixture between aggression and melody to produce an album that should take The Rattlesnakes onto the next level. But you get the feeling that they are happy playing at this level and keeping everything small and intimate.
This is the type of album that should be used as an intervention when someone has a taste in music limited to what mainstream media are pushing. An album that despite being released so early should still make plenty of end of year lists. It could make them massive, but I don’t think thats what they want.