ALBUM REVIEW: Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes – Modern Ruin

Frank Carter is a musician who extremely difficult to gain a complete understanding of. Originally shooting into the limelight with hardcore punks Gallows, Carter ditched the band after their second release in favour of his anthemic rock band Pure Love, only to leave that project behind one album in. Carter reared his head once again in 2015 as Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes saw the Watford man return to his punk roots with debut album Blossom.

Almost two years on and Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes are back with their second album Modern Ruin. In true Carter fashion, there’s no sitting on the same formula that made Blossom great, but instead, there’s a thirst for something new.

Opener Bluebell serves as little more than a prelude for what’s to come, as the minute-long track plays out as an intro to raucous opening riffs of Lullaby.  It’s in Lullaby that the suggestion that Carter has changed things up again starts to fester, before the alcohol laden Snake Eyes and the radio friendly Vampires confirm this.

Everything up to this point feels like Carter is attempting to merge the lyrical viciousness of the Rattlesnakes first release with the anthemic nature of Pure Love, and it stays that way for a large part of the record.

Wild Flowers sees Carter at his most experimental as infectious dance-like drums back the intro to the song whilst Carter exclaims: “Let me tell you about a girl I know.” It’s a song that showcases just what the former hardcore punk is about, it’s both relentless and brilliant.

Upon first listen songs such as Acid Veins and God Is My Friend come across as dull, but give them the chance and they’ll grow into some of the best tracks on the record. Carter is clearly trying to venture out of the sounds that have been tied to him for so long, whilst keeping the viciousness that makes him Frank Carter, and for the most part he does so rather well.

For the most part Modern Ruin is rooted in this new sound, it isn’t until the title track that glimpses of the angst-ridden punk are shown. Heavier vocals tear through the three-minute track with a bullheadedness, before things are slowed right back down for album closer Neon Rust.

Overall Modern Ruin is an album that will gage a mixed response, some will love it instantly, and some will never give it a second chance. It’s the people who give it a chance that have the most to gain. Despite not being the heaviest record Carter has released, it’s by far the bravest. There’s something to be found here.


Standout Tracks: Wild Flowers, Neon Rust, Lullaby, Modern Ruin

For Fans Of: The Bronx, Pure Love

Written by Daniel Rourke