Album Review: Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes – Modern Ruin

US audiences might know Frank Carter from his previous project The Gallows, but he has gained widespread UK popularity with his dynamic and visceral new punk group Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes. Their second release ‘Modern Ruin’ is both complex and classic, with tracks ranging from hushed acoustic numbers to in your face UK punk anthems. Be sure to check out their US tour dates (listed at the bottom) to see Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes as he visits major cities across America this spring.

There is an unexpected softness to tracks on Modern Ruin like the hushed, minute long track “Blue Belle.” It begins the album with a personal flair and a clear statement that Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes do not need to adhere to stereotypical punk sounds. “Thunder” is another highly believable unguarded slow song worth noting on the record.

Embracing their versatility, tracks like “Neon Rust,” “Snake Eyes,” and “Lullaby” deliver a darker nu-wave European sound that varies between decayed indie musing and a dripping faraway agony, almost reminiscent of AFI or She Wants Revenge. Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes have not necessarily pinpointed a signature sound yet but are approaching one. It is far more playable and less abrasive than The Gallows were and has a lot of crossover potential. Clearly, they are not trying too hard to be anything but their own primal selves.

Of course Frank would never leave us with his unique twists on an old school punk sound. In “Acid Veins” he rejects DGAF and DTA attitudes and exhibits raw emotion with grizzly shouts that quickly transition into half spoken storytelling. There are twangy, quiet hooks, almost surf rock guitars, and a  pleading for love, fire, drugs, something to lose – really anything to connect to that primal ID and actually feel something.

“Jackals” is more focused on noisy garage drumming and a cool kid old school feel while “Vampires” showcases Frank’s voice and playful grungy vibe. Their sound is not too heavy or too pop and has a distinct character and immediacy. Despite dragging you to the depths of hell and back, every track has an enjoyable quality.

A total standout on the record is the deep and tragic “Real Life.” It highlights the topical fullness of the record as he describes his desperation to feel with lines like “I want you to break my heart” and “let me feel tragedy wash over us.”

Title track “Modern Ruin” is another standout – in the moment and out of his mind. The torn up road rashed screams we remember from Gallows are more present here but pulled back to a point of crazy only verging on cacophony.

This record combines frenzied fury, throbbing vocals, and graphic imagery into an upbeat simplicity with vast appeal. You can dance, mosh, or sing along to these tracks, which are truly Frank’s best to date. Check  Frank and the Rattlesnakes’ website today for tour dates near your city and snag tickets today.

Altwire Staff:

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