Frank Carter is a man of many talents, backed by vast musical experience from previous bands Gallows and Pure Love, and being a part time tattoo artist; he is the embodiment of a juggernaut. It seems that with Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes’ second album Modern Ruin, he’s channeling his inking skills into the songs, ensuring they leave a permanent and memorable mark in their wake.
Opener ‘Bluebell’ briefly maps the terrain to come; both familiar and perhaps not so familiar on the album with deep toned vocals contrasting against occasional gentle melodies. However, tracks like ‘Lullaby’, named misleadingly with its impatient awakening riffs, ‘Snake Eyes’ and ‘Acid Veins’ storm forward in classic Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes style, beholding a more astringent and heavy sound.
The songs manage to protrude with tenebrous rock/punk attractiveness, especially track ‘Modern Ruin’ that unleashes unrestrained howls and efficacious drumming that really entangles you in a twisted web of fervour. A personal highlight comes right at the end of the album with ‘Neon Rust’, one of the slower songs out of them all, which defines itself as a raw and poignant modern day classic. With lyrics like “Be anything you believe” it briefly lowers down the walls of Carter’s hardened persona.
All in all there is little to fault with Modern Ruin. It’s full of piercing components that make it everything that you would want and expect from Carter and the Rattlesnakes. The racing tempo that dominates the album can at times be hard to keep up with, and there could have been more scope in the way of experimental content to really make Modern Ruin a distinctive venture, but then again why change a sound that is so well practised and has attached so many to it? Predictability can be a bad thing, but they know that this sound was a success with their first album, so you can’t blame them for pushing forward with something similar.
You can see how Frank Carter has matured since his earlier musical expeditions, and with Modern Ruin this growth shines through. It’s far from being a modern ruin; more a great modern creation of turbulent, hardcore rock. Fasten your seatbelts for a boisterous ride; Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes are back.