April 29, 2019 Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – End of Suffering (Album Review)
Raw emotion, amalgamated sounds, and a penchant for brutal honesty. Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes’ latest, End of Suffering, is absolutely all of these things. It arrives May 3, 2019, thanks to International Death Cult.
Some of us remember British lad Frank Carter from his days fronting the Hardcore Punk outfit Gallows, with whom he released two albums — 2006’s Orchestra of Wolves and 2009’s Grey Britain — before parting ways with the band in 2011. Of course, he did find Pure Love for a while, and in 2013 released Anthems, but these days Carter has himself a band of rattlesnakes. Originally a Punk band, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes released their first EP, Rotten, in May 2015, before going on to deliver their full-length debut, 2015’s Blossom, and follow-up 2016’s Modern Ruin.
For 2019, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes — the core duo of Vocalist Carter and Guitarist Dean Richardson along with Bassist Tom Barclay and Drummer Gareth Grover — implore you to forget everything you know about their music up until today. Named after the Buddhist term for enlightenment, the 12-song End of Suffering is a 40-minute Rock-n-Roller-coaster of molten hot bangers, soulful ballads and Grunge lullabies laced through with a lacerating lyrical honesty.
Produced by Cam Blackwood (George Ezra, Florence + the Machine) and mixed by Alan Moulder (Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age), End of Suffering kicks off to a track with a truly killer title: “Why a Butterfly Can’t Love a Spider.” A thrumming beat anchors Carter’s smooth vocals as he weaves the sultry tale of a mismatched pair — and one is a liar. The end result is a song that fits perfectly into the Indie/Alt Rock genre, which is exactly where one can loosely place End of Suffering as a whole. Be prepared: the album is an eclectic amalgamation of influences with notes of soulfulness, Punk attitude, and 1990s grungy grit.
Tom Morello, he of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave fame, guests on the funky “Tyrant Lizard King.” This bass-heavy groove stomps through the tale of a “god damn good man” in leather, a man who runs the town. Next, Carter’s storytelling turns toward more universal themes for “Heartbreaker,” where he admits that a loving smile flipped his once narcissistic world upside down. Anchored by a steady, rocking beat, these sincere and loving confessions allow Carter’s vocals to truly soar.
It gets even better! The ominous prance of “Crowbar” reverberates infectious attitude as Carter spews some insightful observations on individuality, non-conformity, and a little thing called doom. “There’s no comfort fitting in,” he promises in this funktastic ode to rocking the boat. If you’re one of those wankers who’s only going to stream one track from this album, this could be the one you need in your life!
However, there is another must-hear track! Guitar wails into the soulful “Love Games” with Carter tapping into emotionally raw, passionate levels of his vocal performance as he laments the bitterness of repeatedly playing a losing game. This flows perfectly into the nostalgic feel of “Anxiety,” a trip back to 1990s Alternative Rock that promises listeners that it’s okay to not be okay, to suffer from anxiety and depression even when you’re truly blessed.
Grungy guitars dip the band down into “Angel Wings,” a tense ode to the ups and downs of addiction. A fight against fear, an acknowledgment of collapsing under the weight of these troubles, Carter’s soft vocals intimately deliver the track’s deeply personal confessions. Then, maintaining some of this theme, “Supervillain” goes clubbing with heathens, lyrically speaking.
Suitably gritty, the funky sway of “Latex Dreams” continues to explore the darkness, pairing together two ticking time bombs. This continues into the steady beat of the punky “Kitty Sucker,” the tale of a Punk Rock renegade and his Punk Rock queen making some sexy yet destructive mayhem together. Meanwhile, some seriously funky, fun guitar work opens the lighthearted bop of “Little Devil,” a sassy ode to the gal with the gator smile.
They end the collection with the titular “End of Suffering.” Acoustics and piano accompany Carter as he stands amidst fire and brimstone making promises to his little girl. A beautifully real, brutally honest and raw musing from father to daughter, the inspiring sincerity of the track is the perfect way to close out a boldly personal, cathartic collection that runs the gamut across genres.
On End of Suffering, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes offer up bass-heavy, grungy Alternative Rock with raw Punk Rock finesse that never conforms. Defying genres and blending together funky moments, soulful, soaring vocals, and candid, storytelling lyrics, Carter and co. craft an album that is fully enjoyable start to finish. There’s a beauty to the uncensored honesty of Carter’s lyrics, one that finds him laying it all on the line for his craft and his audience. That, coupled with the panache of the band, makes for a truly impressive collection. Gritty enough to get you rocking but soft enough to tug at your heartstrings, End of Suffering is no-holds-barred music-making. For this, Cryptic Rock give End of Suffering 4.5 of 5 stars.