ALBUM REVIEW: Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes - Modern Ruin

Former Gallows frontman Frank Carter returned with a vengeance in 2015 with Blossom, his first album with his new band The Rattlesnakes.
Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes - Modern Ruin.Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes - Modern Ruin.
Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes - Modern Ruin.

He'd stepped back from Gallows' uncompromising brand of hardcore punk with Pure Love, a much more tuneful offering, which had many fans of old wondering if he'd lost his edge.

Blossom gave them an unequivocal answer: Full of venom, howled vocals and crashing chords, he had obviously poured his heart and soul into it.

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At times, he sounded like a man on the verge of a complete mental and physical collapse, such was the intensity of the songs.

Now, just 17 months later, this second album with The Rattlesnakes shows a more contemplative side to the heavily-tattooed frontman.

Several of the songs address his thoughts on the refugee crisis, and there's a doom-laden feel to the whole thing.

It still has the meaty hooks and its fair share of angst, but it sounds more produced, more polished, than its predecessor.

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Many of the rough edges have been taken off, and, it occupies the middle ground between the anger of the last album and the poppier stylings of Pure Love.

After several listens, I'm still not sure what to make of it.

At its best (the pounding Lullaby, the Arctic Monkeys-like Snake Eyes, the title track) it's the equal of Blossom, full of anger and energy.

Jackals, all 55 seconds of it, is the closest you get to the uncontrolled rage of the last album, and probably the best song here.

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Some of the rest leaves you wondering in which direction Carter will go next.

He's at the Riverside in Newcastle with The Rattlesnakes on Saturday, 18 March. It'll be interesting to hear what these new songs sound like alongside those from the first album. 7/10.