It was a great sight to see Frank Carter regain his title as modern punk’s most fearless front man as he unleashed The Rattlesnakes back in 2015. Their debut album ‘Blossom‘ was as blistering as it was emotional, showing off Franks’ extensive vocal range and the ability to pen punk-rock anthems.
The Rattlesnakes seem as vital as ever right now and 2016 saw them tear apart sold out rooms across the globe, giving them fire to get back into the studio straight away to pen album number two.
To be honest, I loved Blossom so much, I would have been happy to get another album of riff heavy smashers but, quite rightly, the band have opted to experiment and explore the sonic highway and the results are pretty fucking huge!
‘Bluebelle‘ opens the album in an understated, stripped back manner, as just guitar and vocals are heard in this short yet sweet intro. This album is mainly about Franks’ clean vocal, which I’m more than ok with, as I’m a huge fan of his singing voice. Although fans of Blossom will be pleased to know that there are few moments of fury here, but we’ll get to that later!
‘Lullaby‘ kicks things into gear with a confident swagger that explodes into this gigantic chorus that is sure to be get the pit jumping at live shows. Recent single ‘Wild Flowers‘ follows a similar path, with a drum driven verse that erupts into a massive, technicoloured chorus with backing vocals that will swirl around your head for days. It’s clear that that the band went into this record with the idea of ‘thinking big’. It still has the snarl and conviction of earlier material, but the songwriting is bolder and the hooks are bigger and brasher than before.
There’s plenty of cutting riffage here, from the colossal riff of previous single ‘Snake Eyes‘ to the cock-sure swagger of ‘Vampires‘. Of course, we also have a few head bangers in there too. ‘Jackals‘ provides a minute of pure, punked up energy, whilst the title track is the closest track to something off Blossom. It starts with a ferocious guitar line, leading into a full on power-punk assault as Frank shouts, screams and sings in one of the albums most raging moments.
Of course, Frank is definitely one for bringing things down a bit and there’s some epically emotional and heart wrenching moments here. ‘Thunder‘ and ‘Neon Rust‘ spring to mind as the more fitting examples of this, acting as pure whirlwinds of frustration as Frank waxes lyrical on the self-destruction button we are close to pressing on ourselves.
I think some fans will hear this and think The Rattlesnakes have just made a polished pop record, but if you listen closer you’ll hear that this is a fierce punk-rock record. They’ve just taken a different approach to it. What Frank and co have done here is make a set of soaring rock songs that still have razor sharp guitars and emotional, passionate vocals, but are emphasized with strong melodies and meatier hooks. ‘Modern Ruin‘ is a powerful record with all the bite that will make Frank And The Rattlesnakes an unstoppable force in 2017.