Frank Carter is hitting veteran status in the English punk scene. It’s been over a decade since he debuted with Gallows in 2005 before leaving the band in 2011. I’ve never been a faithful of the hardcore punk scene, so I must admit to being unfamiliar with Frank Carter. Needless to say his current band Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes flew under my radar before their recently released second album Modern Ruin was given to me for review.
Stemming a bit away from his punk past, Modern Ruin proves to show an alternative rock side to Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes‘ sound. Lullaby was the first song I listened to from Modern Ruin, and before having done any research on the band, I wasn’t able to tell that this band and singer have been known in the past for recording any sort of punk music. With great cohesive vocal melodies and carefully arranged instrument compositions (as opposed to the fierceness and to the point simplicity of hardcore punk) songs like Vampires and Wild Flowers – which reminds me of a slightly heavier Oasis type track – stand out immediately as terrific rock songs that can hold up with other modern rock songs.
There are moments where Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes proudly display their hardcore punk past. A good handful of songs mix their alternative rock sound with their punk past. It comes on subtly on Snake Eyes, which really is a fast rock song, but there are moments of hardcore vocals. Though brief, this song could cross punk audiences over with alternative rock audiences. Acid Veins is another subtle display of punk music thanks to Frank Carter‘s use of uncontrolled vocals at the songs most intense moments. This song, however, wouldn’t really crossover into punk category.
There is one Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes song that bleeds punk, showing little to no signs of alternative rock, and that is the title track Modern Ruin. You have to wait almost the entire album to hear it, as it’s the penultimate track of the album, but it serves as a great treat for punk lovers who don’t mind the alternative sounds of the rest of the album thus far.
Being the kind of guy who does prefer the alternative rock sound over the punk sound of Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, I can very much appreciate the other great alternative rock songs on the album, such as the fast and energetic God Is My Friend and the slow paced Real Life. I would have been quick to call Thunder the best vocal display by Frank Carter on Modern Ruin – the way it starts off so mellow and low and ends so loud and energetic with Frank giving it his all does not fail to impress me – but then I heard closing track Neon Rust.
The closing track, similarly to Thunder, starts off very soft, but that doesn’t last long. This time around, however, Frank Carter takes his vocals to a whole new level. I really believe he is giving it his all and though the musical composition reigns as among the best arrangements on Modern Ruin, the vocals are undoubtedly superior to anything else on the album. His voice just keeps getting higher and higher before ending in an intense onslaught of screams, ending the album on the highest possible note (figuratively speaking) and leaving me completely coloured impressed.
I have given a listen to some of Blosson, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes‘s previous album, and I quite enjoy what I’ve heard. I must admit that I’m surprised with the new direction the band has taken with Modern Ruin, and I can potentially see some fans being disappointed with the heavy use of alternative rock. In the end, what’s important to me is that Modern Ruin is a cohesively composed album from start to finish, which is something that I’ve been finding value in over the past little while. It’s a new chapter in the book of Frank Carter that I’m sure will prove to have more interesting chapters added to it, maybe even some more interesting and good than this one.
Thanks for reading!
8 (Out of 10)
|7.||“God Is My Friend”||3:07|