Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – ‘Sticky’

By William Scott

At what point do you stop talking about Frank Carter’s previous ventures pre-Rattlesnakes? After three records they are headlining bigger festivals and playing to bigger crowds than Pure Love and Gallows ever did combined. That isn’t to diminish the achievements of either band, but you do feel that this is what Frank Carter (backed by his band) have been building towards for a long time and ‘Sticky’ is the outfit’s best offering yet.

The recipe hasn’t had some kind of massive overhaul and there are trace roots right back to the ‘Rotten’ EP. ‘Bang Bang’ features that raw, relentless energy that Carter has laced his material with since Gallows’ ‘Orchestra of Wolves’ era. The sound is refined and the energy has been crafted to form this big main stage anthem, like some sort of targeted punch to the throat rather than an open brawl on the floor. The same is said for many tracks throughout the record. ‘My Town’ features a dark, driving instrumental line, while lyrically the mood remains gloomy. Carter’s delivery however makes this anthemic singalong somehow more menacing despite it’s immense chorus.

The crowd of features detracts nothing from the sole aim and purpose of this record and each are complementing of Carter’s own performance. It is hard to pick favourites when each track features this much individual quality and could easily be single material. It must be a hard job to sit down and pick which one to put forward for promotion as they aren’t short of options.

There are few times that this record takes it’s foot off the pedal and those are just opportunities for the pit to breathe out before crashing back in. ‘Original Sin’ and ‘Rat Race’ are the nearest things to a respite present on the record, but instrumentally the record expands and heads in a different direction. A smattering of brass and an almost psychedelic ending to this album was far from the script of what you would expect, but such is the artistry of the band.

In terms of rooms the band will fill off the back of this record, there certainly wont be any intimate venues to be found. Before long, we expect arenas with gaping chasms to fill. That won’t be a challenge for Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, but merely a blank canvas to orchestrate their strain of rock and roll chaos within. Who knows? The ceiling could be off, too, and with more albums like this, that doesn’t seem beyond the realms of possibility. We are done with looking back along this band’s (and Frank’s) career and the focus is firmly on what stages they will be headlining in the future, because it sure is coming.

WILLIAM SCOTT

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