Here with their fourth studio album, Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes are screaming back onto the airwaves with ‘Sticky’.
Frank Carter is still arguably one of the most recognisable voices in rock right now. His range doesn’t rival Matt Bellamy and he’s not a theatrical belter like Luke Spiller. But the gravel and strangely melodic voice that tears across his work with Gallows and of course, his current band, The Rattlesnakes is unmistakable.
The title track, Sticky, leaps straight out of the gate, and into a pacing punk rhythm. It’s raw and a bit tongue-in-cheek. With Carter himself stating to Louder it was about; “that moment where you’re drunk at a bus stop at 3AM. You know there are no more buses, but you sit there anyway because you’re too fucked to figure out your options. Your kebab is on the floor, there’s a Stella in your pocket, and you’re woken up by a dirty little fox eating your shoes.”
Considering the rest of the album feels more typically political, like much of Carter’s usual furious messages, it’s a great way to set the melodic tone of the album at least.
My Town is probably the most forthright of these more socially charged songs on the album. Featuring Joe Talbot – Welsh frontman of Idles, the track is unflinching and unerring in its message. This being all of us struggling with our mental health during lockdown. Lyrics like ‘we hide those tears behind closed door, don’t know why we’re living in our town’, the message is not designed to be subtle. With even more gritty vocals from Talbot, who spikes the whole track with growls and barked lyrics throughout the rest of the track, it is an absolute stand out track.
There is an great set of these collaboration tracks on the album. Two of which feature Lynks (aka Lynks Afrikka) who Carter described as ‘the most exciting person in music right now’. Bang Bang, the first of the two, feels like nothing more than a standard track for the band – making it a bit confusing for the first two thirds of the runtime. However, Lynks’ hook is thrown in towards the end with a massive speed and tonal shift making their presence more than known.
The second collaboration, Go Get A Tattoo, is an electronic and fuzz-driven banger that keeps the album’s mostly furious pace driving forward. Lynks features more heavily with their cleaner vocals cutting through Carter’s gravel.
Taking aim at trolls and the patriarchy, next up is Off With His Head (feat. Cassyette). With some fantastic melodic work from Cassyette on both vocals and some stunning electronic works, the track keeps the same anger from previous tracks and spearheads a more generalised social fury.
Rat Race, touches more on the impact of COVID on our lives. ‘We all lost a year to the doldrums’ is a line repeated throughout the track and highlights the widening of society’s divide in this time as well.
Whilst most of the album feels faster and more frenetic than some of the previous albums from the band, there is still some drops in speed to catch your breath, however brief. Cobra Queen feels more akin to tracks from from the fantastic Modern Ruin album (2017). Still with plenty of energy, but a slight drop in tempo.
Much like the three preceding albums, Sticky is absolutely fantastic as well. The album stands on it’s own legs with a distinct style and is great to listen to again and again. With a good four singles already chosen from the album, there is no weak track here.
Author: Tom, Cardiff store