ALBUM REVIEW: Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – Sticky
Is Frank Carter the greatest rock star of this generation? From jumping into crowds from crazy heights to getting a giant spider tattooed on his head – he’s as punk as it gets. The band’s first two records were raw, heavy, in-your-face guitar music that took no prisoners.
However, with age comes a bit more maturity, and this has very much come across in Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes‘ discography. End of Suffering saw the band taking a perhaps more radio-friendly approach, while sticking to their heavy roots in tracks like Crowbar, that have made them such a force to be reckoned with.
Approaching this record, there will have been a question of which way the band’s sound was going to go. However, Sticky has confirmed their choice of continuing to make more angry, yet radio-friendly rock, which is a pretty fitting description of what Sticky is.
Lead single My Town (featuring Idles’ Joe Talbot) sets the tone for the record. A song about living in one of the more depressing towns in the UK is delivered pretty fittingly by both men. The tracks bassline is sumptuous, and Carter delivers a pretty catchy chorus. The only real negative is the weird synth created by producer and guitarist Dean Richardson in the bridge, that kind of kills any momentum for the final chorus.
Talking of basslines, the bassline for Go Get A Tattoo is a lovely listen. The single also features the first of two Lynks features on the LP. Their feature is in the classic Lynx playful and funny demeanour, with lyrics such as “It’s 3am, fuck it, I’m getting a tattoo.”
To be brutally honest the song is Carter using his platform to promote his new tattoo parlour, but it’s still an enjoyable tune, with his shouting of “I never want to lockdown again” being a complete mood. The other feature with Lynks, titled Bang Bang, almost pays homage to Till Lindemann’s famous ‘Bang! Bang!’ chorus in Feuer Frei – but it doesn’t really do it justice. The chorus’ 80s punk style is fairly enjoyable though, and Carter sounds insanely like Isaac Holman from Slaves, but he does pull it off pretty well. Lynks‘ tale of a night out going wrong is a great verse, but we’re not quite sure if it was made for this track.
To return to the beginning of the album – title track Sticky starts the album on an immense high, with its rampant guitars and a chorus of “we’re getting sticky” completely made for the live show. Cupid’s Arrow yet again shows Carter’s much-improved ability for a chorus. The tracks also features some Senjutsu-era Iron Maiden style synths.
Interestingly, the band opted for guitarist Dean Richardson to make his full debut producing the record. For the majority of the tracks, this works more than fine, but on the occasional track, his lack of experience does show – as seen on My Town.
Take It To The Brink’s vocal performance by Carter is perhaps his personal highlight on the record. His “kill me, kill me, kill me now” delivery is brilliant, and he nails the chorus too. That stunning bass tone, which is a theme throughout this album, makes another return towards the back end of the record.
Cobra Queen and Rat Race’s bass is just brilliant and are yet more examples on this record that highlights Carter’s ability to write a killer rock chorus, as well as to actually sing. The latter also features a nice touch of some jilted saxophone pieces, which also make an appearance in Bang Bang and Original Sin, as well as a lovely Muse-style guitar solo.
Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream brings this record to a close with one of the best verses of the record, as he murmurs of misdeeds and how he has caught original sin. Accompanied by a genuinely soothing backdrop, it’s an excellent way to close the album.
Overall, Sticky is an album for rock fans. It’s the type of album you’d introduce to a mate to get them into rock music – and chances are it will work. Sticky is a record that will also further enhance Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes‘ chances of headlining even more festivals in the near future – what more can you ask for?
For Fans Of: Foo Fighters, Biffy Clyro, The Blinders
Standout Tracks: Sticky, Cupid’s Arrow, Original Sin
Written By: Joe Loughran