It’s been a decade since Frank Carter, then front man of hardcore-punk outfit Gallows released the utterly-brilliant Grey Britain. It’s been a funny old 10 years for him since, musically speaking.
After leaving Gallows in 2011 citing musical differences, he had a decent crack at more radio friendly alt-rock with Pure Love before returning with current project Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes.
Debut album ‘Blossom’ signalled a return to the snarling angry, screaming Carter we had grown to love in Gallows. Songs on fear of death, songs of hate and anger – all delivered with Carter’s trademark vocal yell. One track, ‘Paradise’, even recording him spitting on the floor during a moment of quiet as he railed against those who matryr themselves in the name of religion.
Second album ‘Modern Ruin’ showed a more tender side, less screaming but still delivered with enough bite to keep fans of his edgier side on board.
However, latest release End of Suffering has seen Carter go all out stadium rock on us. The punky aggression of the debut album has gone completely, as has Carter’s snarling vocal style, replaced by what can only be described as a fairly average croon. We’ve seen this vocal style before on previous albums, especially with Pure Love, but it has normally been balanced out with more spiker stuff.
There’s little of that on show here. The closest he comes is on Crowbar, where at one point he almost sounds angry and manages to throw in a few swear words here and there.
The rest of the album is fairly standard, though competent, heavy rock. Not necessarily any better or worse than a Muse or a Manic Street Preachers.
Having seen Carter live before, his sets are full of energy and agression. How the slew of slower, softer songs on this album, such as Anxiety, Angel Wings, Supervillain, Little Devil and title track End of Suffering, fit into these gigs I’m unsure (they are playing The Great Escape fesitval next weekend, so I might drop by and find out).
During Kitty Sucker, one of the livelier moments of the album, Carter bellows out ‘I’m a punk rock renegade’. Maybe once Frank, but I ain’t feeling it no more.
Release date: 03 May 2019
Standout track: Crowbar
For fans of:
- Manic Street Preachers
- Royal Blood