WORDS: OTTO BALFOUR
The year is 2015. On a note of bittersweet nostalgia, the world was rotating in a simpler fashion. Whilst still having notable tragedies plague our collective memory of the atrocious Paris terror attacks, the monumental Nepalese earthquake, and the genesis of Trump’s presidential campaign, a unifying sense of disdain began to take a hold. Punk was needed more than ever (but as the years since have proved, punk is always a necessity).
Enter Frank Carter and Dean Richardson channeling their rage into a ten track tournado of emotion; a thirty-five minute punk masterpiece that would pathe the way for the tremendous rise of ‘The Rattlesnakes’. Prior to this, Frank and Dean had their roots firmly intertwined in the hardcore punk scene. Frank fronted Gallows for a good six years before progressing onto the more pop rock ‘Pure Love’. Combine those elements with Dean formerly shredding guitar in ‘Heights’, their sound was always going to be heavy with anthemic choruses to boot. Their punk rock past was showcased with their first show occurring at the Sang Bleu Tattoo Studio in East London; not your typical venue for what would become a historic show in the band’s history.
“Enter Frank Carter and Dean Richardson channeling their rage into a ten track tournado of emotion; a thirty-five minute punk masterpiece that would pathe the way for the tremendous rise of “The Rattlesnakes.”
The record throws you straight in at the deep end with fan-favourite opener “Juggernaut”. It is more than a just song. It is a statement of intent; the unstoppable force that is ‘The Rattlesnakes’ showcasing to the world that they were a force to be reckoned with. “Even on my own, you can’t stop me” says it all, and he could not have been more correct. Progressing through the record, the anthems that are “Trouble” and “Devil inside Me” deal with the prevalent problem of mental health; a topic that was not as openly spoken about at the time as it is now. The challenging subject matter opened a conversation that Frank has continued to reinforce throughout their discography; that no matter who you are, or what you do, life is tough. “Primary Explosive” is an extension of the mental health conversation. A somewhat schizophrenic lyrical journey through the ever swaying balance of unbridled anger and confidence, however it is also applicable to the notions presented by “Paradise”; perhaps an exploration into the mindset of those driven to commit such atrocities.
“Paradise” is an open letter to the perpetrators of the horrendous terror attacks riddled throughout the years and months prior to the release of this record. “If there is a paradise hidden in the sky, I hope you never get to see it when you die… you COWARD FUCKING SCUM *spits*”; politically charged anthem that issues a powerful declaration.
“Every generation has a band that will become one of legend, and for the millenials that is frank carter and the rattlesnakes.”
“Loss”, in a very welcome turn showcases an extreme vulnerability to the duo. Such painful lyrical content is a beautiful addition to the record and proved the duo are a genius pairing, and extremely talented songwriters. Of course, “I Hate You” closes the album with the biggest sing-along showing of utter hatred, that is incomparably relatable; everyone has someone they hate, and that is more than okay, in fact it is encouraged!
Five years within the record industry is and isn’t a very long time. It’s not long enough for the average artist to sell out a 10,000 capacity venue in their hometown, or to be celebrated by icons such as Dave Grohl and Billie Joe Armstrong. It’s not long enough to build a fan base that is not only extremely loyal, but one that like many fashion and streetwear brands, is connected strongly though various pockets of counterculture. It’s not long enough to become an advocate and influencer on social and political issues, including helping to change the law (read up on Frank’s involvement with campaigns such as Safe Gigs For Women here) But not many bands are Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes. Five years is a short period of time, but for them it’s only the beginning. The Clash, Blondie, Foo Fighters, Queen, every generation has band that become one of legend, and for the millenials that is the Rattlesnakes.
To celebrate five years of ‘Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes’, “Blossom” is being re-released on a double vinyl, containing five never before heard tracks and recordings of songs from the band’s first tour. Having already released “Fire”, reminiscent of “Rage Against The Machine”, the re-release is something you definitely do not want to miss. Accompanied by a live stream of a show at an empty Camden Underworld on the 18th July. This is a monumental achievement for the pair; it is an absolute shame a certain something shut the world down and robbed so many people of so much, but not all hope is lost. Get your tickets for the show here