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Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes - Blossom (Album Review)

Friday, 14 August 2015 Written by Alec Chillingworth

For every Rob Zombie or Henry Rollins, you've got a Scott Weiland Christmas album. No matter what Jason Derulo says, riding solo isn't always a case of feeling like a star with your head in the sky. More often than not, someone will definitely stop your shine.

Thankfully, Frank Carter has defied the odds and shat out a toxic debut of almost unparalleled potency. Juggernaut's maniacal cry -   “Even on my own, I am a juggernaut!” - pretty much tells you how he feels about this solo stuff. He’s back, and he's probably going to bite your head off.

After an apparent misfire with Pure Love – not the opinion around these parts, but still – 'Blossom' finds Carter touch on his hardcore roots. The casual listener might compare it to 'Orchestra Of Wolves', but that's an unjust reference point.

This album is more mature than early Gallows stuff, leaning on Dead Swans rather than Carter's former outfit. Loss and Rotten Blossom are both unhinged slabs of punk, yet they pack more discernible hooks than most of 'Orchestra...'.

The Rattlesnakes themselves are a venomous bunch. Ex-Heights guitarist Dean Richardson slithers over the six-string, while previous Pure Lovers Tom Mitchener and Memby Jago (the latter also drummed for Ghost Of A Thousand) lock into an insanely tight groove. Musically, it's stupendously professional even at its dirtiest.

Which brings us to Carter himself. The switch from Pure Love to harsher sounds could be seen by some as a cop-out, but there's nothing false about 'Blossom'. “You're a useless fucking cunt, you are nothing to me,” he spits on the bluesy I Hate You. It oozes authenticity. He's not trying to be artsy. He's not trying to sell records. He's just being Frank Carter.

The melodic tint present in his former band has subsequently morphed into something quite different. Carter's snarls during Primary Explosive and Trouble's verses are static-laden and drawled, like Johnny Rotten in his prime shouting down a dodgy landline from a warzone.

Carter largely gets nothing close to the credit he deserves. He's released, under different guises, four full-lengths and Gallows' 'Grey Britain' is not just a certified classic in the punk genre, but scathing social commentary that's only becoming more poignant as the years tiptoe by. 'Blossom' is by no means a genre-buster, but it's a damn fine comeback for one of 21st century punk's genuine icons.

Frank Carter And The Rattlesnakes Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Tue August 18 2015 - LONDON Borderline
Sat October 17 2015 - BRIGHTON Patterns
Tue October 20 2015 - BIRMINGHAM Rainbow Venues
Wed October 21 2015 - SHEFFIELD Leadmill
Thu October 22 2015 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE Cluny
Fri October 23 2015 - GLASGOW Cathouse
Sat October 24 2015 - MANCHESTER Star & Garter
Tue October 27 2015 - NORWICH Owl Sanctuary
Wed October 28 2015 - CARDIFF Clwb Ifor Bach

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