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Album Review: Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes – Modern Ruin

 
By on Tuesday, 31st January 2017 at 12:00 pm
 

We love a bit of Frank Carter here on TGTF. Well, I do at least, so a new album from Carter’s best project to date – Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – was always going to cause a bit of excitement. But was it worth all this getting hot and bothered over? Absolutely.

‘Modern Ruin’ presents Carter and co. at their absolute best, Carter displaying the full length of his ability. Interestingly for music from the man, it’s a far cry from a brutal incessant constant attack: it ebbs and flows like a good record should. For instance, take the album opener ‘Bluebelle’, a reserved and slow track dredged in reverb with Carter singing softly below the music. You wouldn’t expect this approach to begin a second album, but it works a treat because come track two, ‘Lullaby’, the brute force of The Rattlesnakes is put into action. Written to his daughter, musically its not quite as aggressive as much as it is melodically encapsulating. But lyrically Carter creates a personal touch that you probably would never have expected from him.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDgekKQ8nLc[/youtube]

‘Snake Eyes’ is another powerful attack, but with a bit more spirited life to its lyrics, such as the contextualising line in the choruses, “what did I do last night and will I be ashamed?”. It should be noted Carter’s lyrics mostly come from larger stories that he writes, so this isn’t Carter necessarily exposing a sordid lifestyle, though also it may very well be. The idea of a writer is to paint a vivid picture that blends both reality and fiction, something he definitely has nailed down. Carter has the ability to craft words that are both violent yet deeply seductive, brutal with an edge that you just can’t help but fall for.

While this trend continues through ‘Vampires’, it’s on ‘Wild Flowers’ where the loving assault kicks up a notch. It’s super melodic in the chorus and the lyrics are particularly romantic, a strange concept if you’re used to Carter’s back catalogue with Gallows and Pure Love, but it flows so naturally. ‘Acid Veins’ and ‘God is My Friend’ are a bit closer to what you would’ve come to expect from a natural follow up to the Rattlesnakes’ 2015 debut album ‘Blossom’, if that’s what you’re really looking for. But that’s not what this album is about. This album is about Carter doing whatever he wants because he can, and we love it. What we’re hearing is his fully formed ideas coming to life with the power and focus of a freight train.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DR_zU6ruZMA[/youtube]

After the two previous tracks, there’s just a little bit more absolute savagery in less-than-a-minute long ‘Jackals’, which is a torrent of drums before breaking into a rapid punk track and then simply stopping. Perfectly placed, this small brash punk attack takes us nicely into the more developed Rattlesnakes sound. Concerning the war-torn state of the world, with poignant lyrics such as “killed in beds where they should be safest, they’re all mothers and fathers and children too” and “I’ve seen a woman buried to her neck, stoned for disbelief, I’ve seen a man thrown from a tower because he loved another man” show Carter will not only approach the harder-hitting topics but will call out all the bull the rest of the world idly lets happen. Soundtracked by a building crescendo, the power behind the words is met by the band’s aggression. Straight after this, he hits us again with another emotive wrecking ball in ‘Real Life’. It’s soon one-upped by title ‘Modern Ruin’, a fast paced track with Carter at his best: screaming and backed by music faster than you can say the word ‘brutal’.

Album closer ‘Neon Rust’ is perhaps the icing on this solid cake. It’s a tune that begins in the most reserved way of all of them on this record, with Carter’s vocals being tender to the point of unrecognizable. However, they build into a crashing repetitive post-chorus, with Carter howling, “we don’t belong in a wasteland”. The album ’Modern Ruin’ is perhaps the best encapsulation of the last few years in the real world. Filled with frank (no pun intended) lyricism and crashing music, it’s a solid album that deserves to be marked as Carter’s magnum opus. Though he’ll surely come back even stronger, it’s important enough to be taken as a stamp of our social time.

9/10

‘Modern Ruin’ by Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes is out now on International Death Cult via Kobalt Label Services. For more on Carter and his band on TGTF, including an interview Steven did with Carter at Leefest 2016, go here.

 

Video of the Moment #2259: Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes

 
By on Tuesday, 10th January 2017 at 6:00 pm
 

Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes will be releasing their newest album next week. ‘Modern Ruin’ will drop on International Death Cult via Kobalt Label Services on the 20th of January. Ahead of the release, Carter and co. have unveiled the music video for one of the arresting singles from the LP. The visuals for ‘Wild Flowers’ aren’t bad either: the promo was directed by the Turner prize-nominated, critically acclaimed artist Jake Chapman. Watch the video below. For more of TGTF’s coverage of Carter and his band, follow this link.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DR_zU6ruZMA[/youtube]

 

Video of the Moment #2215: Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes

 
By on Thursday, 3rd November 2016 at 6:00 pm
 

‘Lullaby’, the name of Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes‘ most recently unveiled track, doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, given the kind of music they make. Err, the ear-splitting, hard rock variety. And thankfully, they’ve stayed true to their ethos with the new single. You won’t be sleeping to this ditty anytime soon. Watch its accompanying music video, directed by Frank Carter himself, below. ‘Modern Ruin’, the new album from the band, is scheduled for release on the 27th of January 2017. Catch up on our Steven’s interview with the man at LeeFest 2016 through this link. For even more on Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes on TGTF, use this link.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDgekKQ8nLc[/youtube]

 

LeeFest 2016 Interview: Frank Carter (Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes)

 
By on Wednesday, 31st August 2016 at 11:00 am
 

“A lot of people have preconceived ideas of who I am as a person and who I am a a performer, because of my history. I’m really enjoying wiping that slate clean. It’s been a lot of fun.” Frank Carter’s career started back in 2005 with Gallows, who released their debut album ‘Orchestra of Wolves’ to critical acclaim. After parting ways with Gallows due to creative differences, he then proceeded to form a band called Pure Love. It was when Pure Love went on an indefinite hiatus that he found himself in the unknown.

However, a third incarnation of his career, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, is where Carter firmly believes he has finally found his home. When talking to Frank Carter, you can tell he is a man who is determined to be the best at what he does and who is also going to have a great time doing it. “For us, it’s just all about going out and just having fun with it because ultimately, if we’re having fun, it doesn’t really matter what people think, as long as we’ve had a great show, because we’re the ones that have to do this every day. You’ve just got to go and have fun and play every show like you might not get to play the next one”.

This is the key aspect to anything Carter touches. It’s him doing what he needs to, and he’s finally found the band to back him up. “I just set out to write songs and play them the best I could. I’ve definitely resonated with people over the years. Now I’m in a position where I’ve got the right band to capture new fans and pay respect to my old fans so they don’t feel like I’ve abandoned them. They’ve watched me grow up and they’ve grown up along with me. They’re different people than what they were, like I am now. Now it’s a lot to do with respect. I know where I’ve come from, and I’m not trying to run away from that.”

Touching more upon his personal journey, Carter discusses his performance evolution, an always integral part to any artist’s craft. “I’ve always been quite a scrappy performer, I’m a professional scrappy performer. I’ve found a way now to manipulate all the best parts of that and embrace the parts that I was missing. I never ran songs through into other songs, I used to talk for way too long, which slows the flow of the show down. Now we have a few where it’s just bang bang bang, which gives people a big burst of music that they’re not really ready for. That means I can then talk for ages about some bullshit. I feel that’s what I’m learning, how to control the madness a bit better, more so than I have before. I’ve always been good at that, but it can run away with you, like really easily, and so now I’m trying to tighten the leash a little bit.”

Of course, it’s not all been smooth sailing for Carter throughout this process. He talks about his journey to this point with a deep reflectiveness. “I’ve had a troubled relationship with music and my career, but now I feel like I finally understand what I’m supposed to be doing, where I should be. I feel good as a performer for the first time in my life, which is not something to be scoffed at. I’ve found who I am.” Going further into this self-learning, he continues, “I’ve had a heavy couple of weeks of deconstructing the idea of me that people have. A lot of people have sort of been like, ‘Who are you?’ or ‘We don’t know you!’, and I’m now saying to them, ‘I am myself’. It feels good finally to be this and I feel like I’ve been looking for a long time. I’ve finally gotten there, so I’m in really good place.” The future is certainly going to be strong for Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes. With a UK tour coming up at the tail end of the year and a second album in January, they’re continuously working hard, as Carter puts it, “to try and show the world that we’re an important band”.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/BJuXni60ZH0[/youtube]

He also opens up into the current state of the music industry and what it means for newer bands to reinforce his previous point. “Genres and cliques have fallen away. Anybody can listen to anything, which is a great thing, but it also means you open your competition up to the entire spectrum of music. You have to form an act on a level that can compete with all those genres and bands and styles. So that’s kind of what we’re doing at the minute, trying to just find our place in music.”

Since we’re talking to Carter at LeeFest 2016, it would be rude not to discuss festivals in some format, and festivals are where The Rattlesnakes are apparently most at home. “Everyone wants to have a good time when they’re at a festival, it’s normally your chance to escape reality for a little bit. We being a band that want to kind of abuse that in people, we relish it. Festivals are kind of our thing, we just like having a good time. We’ve had a really good summer, so I’m excited about what this band can be in the future at festivals. For us, I’ll always take a festival over a small show because you just get to play to more people and have a great time.” The strength with The Rattlesnakes is Carter’s approach to every gig. “We don’t really try, we just do. We just go out and play the same sort of show be it 7,000 people or 10 people, we just keep doing our thing.”

To check out where you might catch Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes live next, visit their official Web site. nearly half of their UK tour dates in November are already sold out, so be quick to snap up tickets to the remaining dates if you’re keen on seeing them.

 

Reading 2016: Friday Roundup

 
By on Tuesday, 30th August 2016 at 2:00 pm
 

It’s that time of year again, when British youths have their GCSE results and they all descend upon either the city of Reading, or its Northern counterpart for this weekend, Leeds. Reading and Leeds festivals are a coming of age experience for the UK’s youth, and they use this opportunity to let go. Luckily for them, Reading and Leeds always have a lineup that fits this criteria, and this year is no different.

The Friday at Reading was opened by Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls on the main stage, which is the perfect way to kick off any festival. No-one encapsulates what a festival atmosphere should sound like more so than Turner, with his acoustic blend of heartfelt tales and punk rock ethos. The shining sun only cemented this feeling and for the rest of the day.

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes once again proved that festivals really are their thing. Being the first time he’d come to play the main stage at Reading, Carter made sure to make the most of this opportunity by making his way into the crowd, then leading around over 100 members of the audience on a chase around the sound desk and back again. Carter is never one to disappoint, and he did more than deliver this time.

Over on the Festival Republic stage, The Sherlocks and their soon-to-be tour mates Blaenavon both delivered fantastic sets that were met with great reception by the packed out tent, both revelling in the afternoon crowds’ welcome. At the same time, grime supergroup Boy Better Know were on the main stage proving why grime is currently one of the UK’s most promising and domineering genres. Flames included.

CHVRCHES took to the main stage as the sun began to set, and their performance could not have gone on at a more apt moment. Being the third time the band had played the festival, yet the first time on the “big boy/girl stage” as singer Lauren Mayberry put it, it was a moment that was enjoyed and surely to be remembered by both fans and band. The crowd by this point were fully into their weekend fun, so the reception CHVRCHES got was joyous and enthralled. Their early single ‘The Mother We Share’ ended the set on a particularly highest of highs.

Continuing the main stage festivities, Disclosure absolutely dominated the capacity crowd, drawing the largest crowd of the day so far. With a set filled with floor fillers and anthems, they were the perfect warm-up for what was to come from co-headliners Foals. At the same time, at The Pit tent, American rockers Thrice gave a performance that was heartfelt and connected with the modest audience like no other did during all Friday.

Being the Reading leg of the twin festivals, Foals were the final headliner on the first night. Even before they took to the stage, this was bound to be a momentous occasion for the Oxfordians, surely an act you should simply not miss out on when given the chance. It’s worth noting that Sunday’s co-headliners at Reading were Biffy Clyro, who first made their way to the upper echelons of the lineup back in 2013, proving that it’s not a feat that happens just once. Foals debut Reading headline slot not only delivered, but completely proved they’ve rightly earned their place as top billing at one of the countries most sought after slots.

From their early position as indie newcomers with their debut ‘Antidotes’ back in 2008 to now headlining Reading festival, Foals have been on a continuous meteoric rise. A set that included ‘Cassius’, a rare treat in their UK headline set after being removed from constant rotation back in 2010, along with fan favourites ‘Inhaler’ and ‘What Went Down’, it was a moment in history for the Foals timeline, and they made sure that it was remembered that way. Ending with ‘Two Steps, Twice’, for which co-headliners Disclosure also made an appearance, along with pyrotechnics, crowd surfing and fans’ complete devotion, this was Foals’ moment. They seized it, ran with it, and now the future is theirs. In the now immortalised words of frontman Yannis Phillippakis, it was “pretty fucking magic”.

 

LeeFest Presents: The Neverland 2016 Roundup

 
By on Friday, 5th August 2016 at 2:00 pm
 

When you think of Neverland, you consider the following synonymous: timelessness, youthful vigour and a certain transcendence. In the middle of a forest in Kent, near Edenbridge, Neverland became a reality through the help of Lee and his homegrown festival Leefest 2016. Though the weather was not quite ideal upon first landing, it was far from an issue. The moment you wandered into the main arena, it was clear the only thing that would stop a good time being had would be those adult thoughts that should’ve been, at this point, relegated to the outside world. Neverland’s sole purpose over these 3 days was to be a vehicle for your removal from society and instead to provide you a good time.

Split into three main sections, The Neverwoods (main arena), Mermaids Lagoon (rave central) and Skull Ridge (rock city), you were never far from some form of entertainment. The introductory day, Thursday, saw the smallest of the lineup but definitely the strongest. With only Tootles Circus, your average festival tent, operating as a stage, all four acts were nice and accessible. Peluche and Loyle Carner eased the gaining crowd in, but it was the main attractions of Everything Everything and Ghostpoet (pictured at top) who garnered in the big numbers. With Everything Everything, they perfectly stoked the crowd’s fire and brought their unique blend of rapturous choruses and genre bending music. Conversely, Ghostpoet gave the tent a dark atmosphere with his blend of hip-hop-cum-rock-assault.

Friday brought forth the first full day affair, with Peluche once again kicking proceedings off, but this time on the main stage, aka the ‘Bangerang’ stage. The overall setup of the main arena was easily navigated but with the two stages being centrally located, sound spill was inevitable. Fortunately this didn’t happen frequently, though it’s a dangerous game to play. Highlights from the second day included Corey Fox-Fardell and his brand of songwriter electro melding, which was a particularly pleasant listen whilst grazing in front of the Bangerang stage. Little Simz proved why she is one to watch in the UK hip-hop game, leading the enthusiastic crowd through numerous chants as she dominated the beats surrounding her. In a similar fashion, Roots Manuva brought domineering and commanding beats that just reinforced the entire notion behind LeeFest: you can be who you want, and listen to what you want, as long as you have a good time. Rockers, hip-hoppers and the like were all moving and shaking to the sounds that flowed from the Bangerang stage.

Current London-based pop troubadour Oscar provided his blend of melodic darling instrumentation and baritone vocals. One thing’s for sure, you can’t not have a good time at an Oscar show, no matter the crowd size or venue. Dinosaur Pile-Up sat on top of the kingdom of chaos and noise after a headlining set at the Hook Rock stage in the Skull Ridge. It’s was a venue reminiscent of small clubs, where the noise cascades from all orifices and you’re able to lose yourself in the darkness amongst your other perspiring peers. Barrelling through their grunge/punk hybrid hits, the volume was overbearing at the front. We recommend you watch from a safe distance if you’re stupid enough to forget ear protection (a particular note to self).

The final day started off in stereotypical British style, with grey clouds and intermittent rain, but this didn’t affect the atmosphere. Hannah Lou Clark was a particular highlight: sans band, she used both her pure talents and an iPod to create a wonderfully relaxed and charming environment. Everybody’s favourite indie twosome We Are Scientists provided a particularly raucous set that included singer Keith Murray venturing deep into the crowd during ‘Textbook’, where he proceeded to enlist the help of a particularly fluorescent orange Poseidon who was amongst the crowd. Following these shenanigans was current electro-indie darling Shura, having released her debut album ‘Nothing’s Real’ in July. Delivering a captivating set that never failed to both strike you emotively and melodically, the biggest draw of Shura live is the fact she is clearly there because of the sheer love and devotion for her art. She knows what she likes to dance to and fortunately, we do too.

Originally announced to take place on the Thursday, after a mishap with the programs and the cat being let out of the bag early, the not-so-secret secret set from Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes Saturday evening was the perfect climax to this weekend of escapism and release. The pure fury that comes with any Frank Carter show is cathartic enough to make sure you leave with a weightlessness, one that can only be achieved by taking part in both a circle pit and storming the stage, two things this fortunate writer was seen doing.

After all is said and done, the aforementioned sole purpose of LeeFest was achieved. With pirates and lost boys running around shooting each other with water pistols and climbing aboard the decorative dens around the stages, it was impossible to not get lost in the affair. A festival that catered to both families and those of all ages looking to simply cut loose, the promise this event holds is even grander than its current fasthon. Considering this was Leefest’s largest year yet, the sky’s the limit. And with the lead lost boy at the helm, LeeFest could very well be a major player for years to come.

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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