Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes - 'Sticky'
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes have a relentless attitude. Since their formation in 2015, they are yet to slow down, relentlessly pushing forward in their pursuit of boundary-pushing creativity. Even during a global pandemic, the band poured their time into creating their fourth album,Sticky, and its their most energetic yet.
For an album made in such a time of global flux, Carter and his rabid Rattlesnakes could have understandably licked their wounds. Thankfully, theyve come out all guns blazing onSticky, which is a non-stop, headfirst trip into a hedonists paradise. Theres no lockdown misery insight, and instead, its an alcohol stained celebration of hazy evenings that flash by in the blink of an eye.
Album opener, Sticky, is the title track for a reason, and it epitomises the reckless, chaotic spirit of the record. It gets proceedings off to a firebrand start as Carter contemplates his decisions, as he sings, What the fuck is wrong with me? Kicking around at half-past three, In the morning, Horny, Got nowhere to sleep, At least Im never boring. Those lyrics sum up an attitude that Carter exhibits across the entire record. Hes not perfect, but nobody knows that more than himself, yet that doesnt stop him from having the time of his life and embracing indulgence.
From a sonic perspective,Stickyfeels likeThe Rattlesnakeshave turned their speed up to 1.5x. They keep up this hectic, frenetic pace throughout the album, which creates a suffocating but exhilarating experience.
Its designed to be claustrophobic, and Carter tightens his grip on the thrilling Rat Race and My Town. The latter features Joe Talbot from Idles, and the lethal combination of British punks two most cherished heavyweights bring the angst.
Collaboration is a vital part ofStickyand breathes life throughout the record. Most notably is the emergence of Londons underground queer sensation, Lynks, who is a revelation. Their first moment comes on the lively Bang Bang, where they paint an unenviable image of a night out, singing: Boys on gak, Singing Girls on Film, At the top of the lungs. Lynks enthusiasm bounces off Carters aggression, and together they make an unlikely pairing, but theres no shortage of chemistry between them.
We catch up with Lynks again later in the album on Go Get A Tattoo, a track in which they put in an equally electrifying display. While the song is literally about getting an impromptu drunken tattoo as the title suggests it doesnt have any great depth to it, but thats the whole point ofSticky. The record is about momentarily escaping the worries that life throws up at you and embracing spontaneity.
Sadly, rising alternative rock star Cassyette combines less fluently with The Rattlesnakes on the raging Off With His Head with her vocals clashing with Carter. Ultimately, shes barely audible when they sing in unison with her sadly underutilised.
While Lynks is the albums revelation, itsPrimal ScreamsBobby Gillespie, who offers haunting tones on the closing track Original Sin, who arrives as the records most striking moment. In fact, his cameo somewhat resembles the arrival of the ghost from hedonisms past in a depraved version ofA Christmas Carol. Here we find Carter face up to the errors of his ways and soberly reflect on his mistakes which tie the album in a quasi-religious manner.
Stickyis a strong outing from The Rattlesnakes, undoubtedly their most adhesive yet. Its visceral, straight to the point, ferocious punk that stings you in your throat like a shot of vodka. While it isnt a complicated album from a technical standpoint, they make up for that in the bounds of energy they inject. If you were unsure about going out tonight, press play, and youll find yourself stumbling into a bar in no time.
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