Album Review: Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes - 'Rotten'

18 May 2015 | 3:39 pm | Alex Sievers
Originally Appeared In

Frank Carter teases us with just the tip in his return to punk rock.

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After dipping his feet into the piss-filled lukewarm pond of contemporary mainstream rock n’ roll with Pure Love, it’s nice to have Frank Carter back deep down inside his crazed, raw roots.

The singer’s former band, Gallows, while still heavy and fast, have evolved away from the sound of the Carter-era, but Carter himself seems to revel in those years as this project is Gallows in all but name. The dissonant, scathing guitars, the raw, paper-thin screams and shouts, the thick bass, and the thrashy drumming all adds up to a gritty, blistering experience that shows that Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes (would love to know where they get these names from) are for all intents and purposes, a Gallows 2.0.

But that's not really such a band thing, is it?

Well, regardless of comparisons to old glory, the songs are all solid. ‘Fangs’ is the first of the three (or the four if you count the hidden track, 'Loss'), and it’s all of the above wrapped up into two and a half minutes of pure, unadulterated fun. The religious connotations of ‘Paradise’ are plainly obvious – fuck suicide bombers, fuck religious fanatics the world over, and there is no afterlife and/or God. Hey guys, maybe you would be good friends with Thy Art Is Murder...

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Anyway, unlike the opening track, this song is one part-frenzied viciousness, and one part snow-balling crushing as the band mellows out mid-way and then strikes as one collective over and over until closing. ‘Primary Explosive’ (an accurate description of the band and the singer himself) funnily enough, is slightly less frantic, more mid-tempo and feels like a modern day Sex Pistols. Just, you know, actually good.

Hidden tracks are a rare thing these days, and it’s nice to see one tucked away in the last song. After the first four or so minutes of ‘Primary Explosive’, it moulds into white noise, with faint sounds here and there. Then all of a sudden, ‘Loss’ takes over as a solemn guitar plays away under a very open, voice-breaking Carter, who lays quite a lot bare for the world to hear, before eventually choking up and stopping, and then it's fade out and curtains.

Seriously, you would have to be made of pure fucking stone not to feel something while listening to this gut-wrenching experience (it doesn't do it justice to label it as a 'song'), which is easily the best moment of this strong and sturdy debut EP.

This EP is over in the amount of time it takes to brew a pot of tea, or in the amount of time that it takes for this reviewer to last in bed (zing!). And that’s the bane of ‘Rotten’ – it’s just too fucking short to leave a really lasting impact. However, each track is solid, especially the hidden goodie that is ‘Loss’. Admit it, you think it’s great to see Carter doing what he’s best at – being an angry, confronting ginger screaming in a hardcore/punk band. Hopefully more is to come from Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes.

1. Fangs

2. Paradise

3. Primary Explosive

4. Loss (hidden track)