Album Review – Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes – Modern Ruin (2017)

Availability: Spotify, Amazon UK (standard & explicit version),  Norman Records, eBay and HMV

Bluebell the opening track of the band’s second album is an atmospheric, country-folk fused acoustic interlude. However, despite the artificial intend to be relaxing indie song, lyrically it disparities by addressing the protagonist’s struggle with love, and betrayal. Lullaby launches away from the indie rock, back to the band’s roots in hardcore, with inclusions of post hardcore and alternative rock, as Frank Carter seems to be channeling The Rasmus (Lauri Ylonen), from Dead Letters (2003) and Hide from the Sun (2005) eras.

Snake Eyes has an intriguing union of post-hardcore, hardcore, and alternative rock; this time habouring the core essence of punk, and stimulus from British alternative/industrial/dark cabaret project IAMX (Kiss and Swallow, The Alternative). Expressively, the song narrates the dangers of heavy drinking, and the wrong doing that be committed, that is lost due to temporary amnesia that comes with a hangover. Vampires reconnoiters the genres groove rock, post-hardcore, hardcore and punk; the latter to the aggressive chugs of the guitar, as well as the heavy emphasis on the drums. It is possibly a continuation of Bluebell, with the return of unrequited love, and duplicity.

Wild Flowers is the second song to feature groove, hardcore and there is the renewal of indie rock, and an addition of rock ‘n’ roll and hard rock, and to contrast with the previous tracks, it is a more uplifting take of love, relationships, and attraction at first sight. Around the 2:00 mark, the enthusiastic instrumentation slows into a lulled acoustic number, similar to the first track, however then explodes back to its fast pace near the end. Acid Veins exempts the band’s punk origins to experiment with countrified post-hardcore (comparable to Dark Americana/Southern Gothic), there presence of grunge, alternative rock, and like Wild Flowers, has a snippet change to country acoustic, Carter’s voice melodic and hopeful, accompanied then by hardcore once again in the last minute of the track.

God is my Friend travels back to groove-post-hardcore fusion, and interestingly, similar to Acid Veins dabbles with what appears to be My Chemical Romance impact, specifically their second and third album; Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge (2003), and The Black Parade, with anguished, screaming vocals that branch out thoroughly towards those of nu-metal. Jackals, the second and the shortest of the interim, the album tempers into an elevating skate punk and hardcore.

Thunder is one of the darker directions musically on this album, rounding up the genre to what I could call country rock, post-grunge and alternative rock, and toys with the musical direction analogous to the likes of Green Day with their more mainstream album American Idiot (2003), My Chemical Romance and Linkin Park’s Minutes to Midnight (2006), and this observation is also based on the dystopian themes. Real Life, the second darkest track, though more melancholic than the previous, once more refers to a lost love and a rejection of happiness. This track combines hardcore, grunge and post-hardcore to emphasis the loss and suffering of the protagonist of the song.

Modern Ruin returns to the empowered hardcore punk, and somehow seems to combined sample of Gun’s ‘n’ Roses’ 1987 hit Welcome to the Jungle’s guitar solo as well as having the spirit of the Sex Pistols, explicitly of their track Pretty Vacant from Nevermind the Bollocks (1977). This indirect sampling therefore changes the dynamics to the track’s genre, as it isn’t just hardcore, but hard rock, punk and heavy metal, as well metalcore’s primitive cries. Neon Rust, the last track of the album has rejected the energized rock numbers to experiment with a different genre all together, this time of ska, shoegazing, indie, and blues rock. The ending song is contractively melodic and mellowed, despite the forlorn context of the lyrics, detailing post-apocalyptic scenery.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s