If there is one thing that will make me respect a new band further, it is when they are not afraid to change up their sound and deliver something, which in modern music times may be the same path hundreds of acts tread, that tries to be refreshing. Case in point, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes. Their first album, ‘Blossom‘, was a fierce, unrelenting audio punk assault that had anyone in Tiger Of London trousers and Doc Marten boots cry for joy that British Punk got a much needed electric shot to the genital region.
Then ‘Modern Ruin‘ took that fury to different directions. The fire was still there, but something wasn’t quite right with the bands sophomore effort. It was pulled in so many different directions that while there were some certified slappers on the album, it just wasn’t what fans of ‘Blossom’ were expecting and left a jarring aftertaste. Now we have approached the bands third studio effort ‘The End of Suffering‘ and dare I say that Frank Carter and his merry band of miscreants have nailed a perfect formula of bitter sweet melodies and sharp scathing lyrics that have all the potential to cut one to the bone.
Right from the off, ‘The End of Suffering’ shows off its beautiful plumes with ‘Why A Butterfly Can’t Love A Spider‘, a song that is vaguely reminiscent of Queens of the Stone Age, only far less cryptic and with far more blunt lyrics. If there is one reason to respect Frank Carter for, it is his song writing skills, which he has been perfecting since his time in Gallows. It doesn’t take long to gauge into songs such as ‘Crowbar‘ or ‘Supervillain‘ and understand exactly what he is trying to get you to comprehend.
It gives one more time to study Dean Richardson’s guitar work, which in itself are a symphony of musical mental breakdowns. Every song on this album has clearly been thought out and while the album as a whole takes a slower tempo, almost grunge direction, rest assured this album is still Punk as f**k. With so many highlights, its actually hard to describe what to look for so let me just take you through a few of them, if nothing else, I would have filled out In Key’s quota of six hundred words minimum.
Track three, ‘Heartbreaker‘, is without a doubt a modern love song for any millennial, just with less avocado. A twisted tale of falling in love with someone you really didn’t plan on falling in love with in the first place. However, it does give some room to actually have some soppy cute lyrics wedged in to play the role of a perfect contradiction , we have all been there and this song is telling you that it is perfectly OK to feel such discrepancies. The song can easily be linked to your shambles of a love life instantly.
Then we have ‘Anxiety‘ and just like the disorder itself, this song creeps up on you, it leaves you claustrophobic, tight chested and if you have every had an anxiety attack (or as I like to call them, every f***ing morning in Casa Del Meekham) it is an unrelenting barrage of finely tuned lyrics. In layman’s terms, it’s a song in which Frank Carter makes a bold statement of saying “Yes, I’m successful, I should be happy but I am f***ing miserable and so are you, so f**k it, lets scream out our pain together“.
Mark my words, this song is going to have many a mosh pit goer hold a stranger arm in arm to belt out its blinding chorus.
Then there is the album closer ‘End of Suffering‘ a Radiohead esque affair, only with far better singing. It’s a sombre love letter to Carter’s daughter, describing his new found maturity through fatherhood. It is here we find why The Rattlesnakes have approached this album with a more grown up approach, because it is personal to Frank Carter and you cannot fault the man for writing something so overwhelmingly beautiful, it will bring a tear to your eye, even if you’re not a father yourself.
From their humble up tempo angst roots in ‘Blossom’ to where they are now, you cannot deny that ‘The End of Suffering’ is a grown up album, that distinctive Punk Rock fury is still there and will always be a trademark in the Rattlesnakes sound going forward. Frank Carter’s lyric writing has hit an apex and the instrument work compliments the tone. This album is best reserved for those in their late twenties/early thirties who are not quite ready to shake off the adolescent anger, but are rather yearning to put that anger to better use that doesn’t end in hedonism and/or self destruction.