Riding off the back of massive slots at festivals across the country and headlining iconic venues across the country, this week sees Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes release their fourth studio album, Sticky*. The album sees Frank Carter and his band collaborate with other artists for the first time, whilst hoping to cement the bands already glowing reputation in British punk. Yet has Sticky allowed them to do just that?
The album opens with former single and title-track, Sticky, full to the brim of the signature Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes energy. Here, Carters angsty attitude bubbles and bursts into life, accompanied by the intensely catchy guitar riffs of guitarist Dean Richardson. As the track builds, its chorus erupts into tense screams of it’s getting sticky! that feel as if they come from crowds in a mosh pit before flying into each other at full force. Sticky is a perfect opener to the album, setting the mood and tone for what is to come.
Sticky sees The Rattlesnakes cover and explore various topics, with second track Cupid’s Arrow the band detail the difficulties that come with the anxiety that is induced by social media, and how it takes a hold in the middle of a date. Strong storytelling is displayed throughout the album, yet onCupid’s Arrow is where it is spotlighted most.
Bang Bang follows, the first of two tracks on Sticky that feature collaborations with gender-bending, South London artist and performer Lynks. Sticky is Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes first album in which they are collaborating with other artists, and it has certainly paid off for them. Bang Bang is written about the stereotypical British way of losing ourselves in old-fashioned hedonisms such as drugs and alcohol, and how they can then turn us into horrible people.
My Town is the second collaboration on the album, seeing The Rattlesnakes join forces with IDLES’ Joe Talbot. Effective with its message, My Town sees Frank Carter and Joe Talbot wear their hearts on their sleeves, as they bond over the shared fear of not feeling as if they are able to share their feelings.
The second collaboration with Lynks and Sticky’s third single, Go Get A Tattoo, is a personal track which sees Carter speak fondly of his love of tattooing. The instrumentation displayed here builds to present a bright, chaotic number which is destined to be an anthem for those who had missed the feeling of a tattoo needle over the past year.
Cobra Queen is poetic and punchy, written about the feelings you get when you finally realise youve found your soulmate. Holding the signature groove that The Rattlesnakes’ basslines are notorious for and combining that with a modern glitch to create one of Sticky’s standout tracks.
The album closes on a softer, gentler note, with the duos collaboration with Bobby Gillespie, Original Sin. Within the track, Carter discusses the tribulations of resisting desire before Gillespie’s seductive vocals join in at the midway point. Original Sin serves as a perfect closer for the album, featuring peaceful synths with heavy guitar work to close off a riotous album.
Sticky is a triumph for Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, seeing them position themselves as one of the most exciting bands the UK has to offer. Seeing the duo expand both lyrically and instrumentally, Sticky sees the band keep up with tradition whilst proving themselves to be evolving musicians with new found modernity.
Sticky is out as of now. Buy the album here on limited edition vinyl*.