Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes

Blossom

Written by: PP on 26/10/2015 21:51:57

What started as an enigmatic run from small London venues into the most important hardcore band in England, Gallows spearheaded by Frank Carter approached a cult status only after two albums given their explosively unpredictable live shows and their landmark release "Grey Britain" in 2009. After Carter's departure, the band has never been the same, but that's what happens when such an iconic persona departs from your core songwriting group. Carter surprised everyone with his new band, Pure Love, that was more like an alternative rock band with singer-songwriter tendencies but their live shows were no less crazy. Now returning to heavier music with The Rattlesnakes, Frank Carter releases an album that merges together the two influences with "Blossom": the chaotic but ambitious hardcore of Gallows and the groovy rock of Pure Love at a perfect midpoint between the two styles.

From the harrowing ballads "Beautiful Death" and especially the gloomy and desperation-driven closing track "I Hate You", Frank Carter shows how to convert singer-songwriter type of musicianship into a hardcore format with screams so distorted it sounds like the microphone's about to break, all the while the guitars are involved in somber atmospherics. On the opposite end of the scale, "Juggernaut" and "Fangs" deliver uptempo hardcore in an utterly chaotic format that is quintessential to Carter's early work during his career as a frontman. The songs swirl and curl around maniacally in groovy hardcore riffage that borrows a little from both his own band Gallows' early work but also from the rock'n'roll fueled rage of The Bronx, where in the former Carter howls "even on my own, you can't stop me, even on my own, I am a juggernaut". He's right. The vocals are delivered with such convincing rage and lunacy-approaching screeches that you'd be hard pressed to recommend "Blossom" to the more faint-hearted music fans.

Albums like "Blossom" don't come around too often. It consists of a very unique combination of groove, alternative rock, and hardcore that's not easily comparable to other outfits. If you imagine how original Turnstile's hip hop tuned hardcore punk is, Frank Carter's approach here is at least as unusual and noteworthy in its own right. By not down-tuning the guitars and having the vocals distort to the extent of breakage in the microphone, it creates an interesting balance in sound and a mixture that's previously been seen on Refused's landmark release "The Shape Of Punk To Come" in the 90s. "Rotten Blossom" is arguably the song that channels that influence most clearly into its guitars. Still, these are just far-reaching comparisons; "Blossom" isn't exactly an easy album to categorize or pigeonhole. But whatever you want to call this genre, one thing holds true here as it does on other Carter-involved albums: it delivers the goods, and shows why he was most definitely the spark and most important songwriting component in Gallows. Creativity, originality, and talent to pull an outrageous expression like this one off. That's Carter in a nutshell for you.

8

Download: Juggernaut, Fangs, I Hate You
For the fans of: Gallows, Pure Love, The Bronx, Refused
Listen: Facebook

Release date 14.08.2015
International Death Cult / Kobalt Label Services

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