Gathering his serpent minions to his court, Frank Carter – the former frontman of English groups Gallows and Pure Love – has drawn upon his alternative rock and hardcore history to bring us a scalding record of character-defining musicianship that makes no apology for its politically powerful core – and nor should it.
Though there’s some uncertainty in Carter’s vocals on the first few tracks of Modern Ruin, it’s rather endearing, and suits the purposely underdone aesthetic of the album. ‘Lullaby’ is the furthest thing from one, but it’s easy to fall in love with, while ‘Snake Eyes’ demonstrates a razor-sharp belt that’s both sad and candid at the same time.
‘Wild Flowers’ contains some quintessentially British indie undertones, with elements of fast and bobby mania. It’s also the first real significant moment of variation in the album, setting the pace for more sonic thumping – ‘God Is My Friend’ standing out in particular.
Whether or not you’re convinced that the marriage between Carter’s earlier performance styles is a good one or not, Modern Ruin is Carter’s voice and songwriting at the best we’ve ever heard it.
Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes’ Modern Ruin is available now through Kobalt.