When you hear the name Frank Carter there are certain buzz words that come to mind, wild, passionate, intensity, enraged and energetic. These words also come to mind when looking to describe his and his band, The Rattlesnakes debut album “Blossom” that exploded into people’s ears and grabbed them by the scruff of the neck.
On the tour that followed they went on to further cement themselves as one of the most exciting bands around as they orchestrated such passion from the people with their tattooed talisman at the forefront of the band and seemingly, at the forefront of rock music.
With these things in mind it’s no surprise the level of hype and anticipation that their sophomore release, Modern Ruin has been met with. Spoiler alert: The hype is entirely justified.
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The difference between this release and their debut record is astonishing so for those who are looking for Blossom Part Two may well be left feeling a sense of disappointment. They have managed to gather together a sound which doesn’t have the impact of the white hot rage induced first effort but doesn’t stray far enough away where the impact isn’t felt.
As the first song ‘Bluebelle’ begins to play you can feel the difference in an instant as Carter gently plucks away at strings for the first time and his vocals peacefully echo around you, it’s a very interesting way to start the album off as it’s stripped back feel kicks any preconceptions to the curb immediately.
The serenity doesn’t last for long as ‘Lullaby’ comes storming in with heavy distorted guitars and anguished lyrics that pack more of a punch expected from this band. The pace continues on with ‘Snake Eyes’ as the drums take centre stage, directing the flow of the song as it rises and falls leaving the hairs standing on your neck.
‘Vampires’ comes with another unexpected twist as its chorus has a poppy feel to it with relatable lyrics, “I don’t want to live in the shadow of the man anymore” that will no doubt go over a treat at a live show but throwing this in the mix signifies the bands ambition to show their versatility.
Pop choruses continue in ‘Wildflowers’ as Carter swoons over a figure of beauty while still keeping his edge of intensity the guitar riffs drive the song forward before veering off until the last chorus where they come crashing back to life. ‘Acid Veins’ shows off the first signs of Carter’s heavier vocals as the song flits between order and chaos.
The pace is picked up with ‘God Is My Friend’ an anthemic song which showcases Carter’s ever expansive vocal range before the explosive 56 seconds of thrashing punk riffs and beats in the form of ‘Jackals’.
A stand out track on the album has to be ‘Thunder’ as it’s slow build points a spotlight on the lyrics that deal with religion and extremism, it hammers home the idea that we are all equal and points the finger at the people killing the innocent for their own gain, giving you food for thought and a window into the view of the world that Carter has. They didn’t name the album modern ruin for nothing.
The title track ‘Modern Ruin’ which was described as the perfect juxtaposition like the visual of a front man in a punk rock band bounding around stage in a GUCCI suit. The track is the only hardcore song on the album as the Carter snarl we’ve come to know is heard throughout as the song bursts with aggressive energy and serves as the only real nod to their previous effort, Blossom but also seems to show a huge amount of progression beyond that record.
‘Neon Rust’ closes out the album as Carter’s lyrics depict an apocalyptic wasteland with an atmosphere of despair which would make it seem a depressing note to end the album on but there is always a feeling of hope mixed in with the bleakness and with that it looks like Carter and the rattlesnakes have found their niche.
The album serves as a statement of intent from the band, they’re looking to show their versatility as well as their boundless ambition. The band have made a bold step by experimenting with their sound so soon into their career but it only reinforces their mantra that they’re a band that aren’t here to knock on the door and wait for an answer, they’re here to blow the door off its hinges.