Rock | Punk
The UK punk outfit known as Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes have been a band that I have been a pretty huge fan of, ever since I witnessed their glorious main stage set at Reading Festival in 2016. This was roughly half a year ahead of the release of their sophomore album Modern Ruin. And as a result, I had plenty of time to discover their phenomenal debut.
And while the aforementioned first album, 2015’s Blossom, was a masterpiece in its own right, there was no denying that Frank Carter’s previous musical experience was smothering the project. While the more hardcore aesthetic of the album pleased me and many other fans, it made sense that it was something that Frank Carter wanted to stray away more and more from as The Rattlesnakes wet on.
The previous musical experience that I speak of would of course be the previous band that Frank Carter was part of, known as Gallows. Due to creative differences, Carter left the band in 2011, and later lead the band who I am writing this review about today.
The Rattlesnakes’ sophomore album presented an aesthetic transition, in which they were slowly trading the hardcore-punk feel that was so prevalent on Blossoms, for one that felt more close to traditional punk.
That being said, it seemed like Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes’ third album, End of Suffering, would be the culmination of everything the band had worked towards stylistically. But unfortunately, when looking back on it, it does come across as an awkward middle-child of an album. The level of mainstream feel that the album had ultimately felt like something that Frank Carter wasn’t truly intending to go for. Nonetheless, it was still a solid listen.
We now sit in late 2021, the time in which Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes release their fourth album, which they have titled Sticky. And by the looks of it, I feel like they have finally found the sound that they sought.
This brand new album was first teased by the match made in heaven that was the band’s collaboration with Joe Talbot of IDLES fame. The resulting piece, “My Town”, displayed the perfect stylistic fusion, and felt like a Rattlesnakes and IDLES track all at once.
As I would learn later, “My Town” wasn’t the only collaborative track that struck gold on this album. We also get not one, but two tracks that brought together the unlikely alliance of The Rattlesnakes and Lynks, another artist I absolutely love. One of those two tracks was the third teaser track, “Go Get A Tatoo”, which may just be the most prevalent highlight on the album. As well as this, we also get a closing track with Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie, titled “Original Sin”, which is easily one of the most different tracks that Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes has ever put out. And lastly, the final teaser track, “Off With His Head” employs the help of Cassyette (an artist who I newly discovered through this track), to create a phenomenally powerful statement against the patriarchy.
And while I’m on the subject of being different, the entirety of Sticky is exactly that. When comparing an album like this to Blossoms, for instance, it sometimes feels like you’re listening to two completely different bands. However, it is through their lyrics, and overall encompassing attitude, that Frank Carter lets listeners know they haven’t been replaced by lizard people or anything of the like; it still is unmistakably them at their prime.
The main component that truly ties all of this together though, at the end of the day, is just how fun and vibrant this album is as an experience. I felt that this was something that an album like End of Suffering was perhaps missing a little bit, and could’ve been the final key ingredient for The Rattlesnakes to graduate from one sound to another.
I’m now absolutely loving this new change that Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes are going for, and I hope that they settle on this one for a while longer going ahead.
Favourite Tracks: My Town | Go Get A Tattoo | Rat Race
Least Favourite Track: Bang Bang
International Death Cult | AWAL Recordings
Enjoyment: 9/10 | Memorability: 8/10 | Atmosphere: 8/10
Uniqueness: 8/10 | Satisfaction: 9/10 | Narrative: 8/10