Album review: Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – Dark Rainbow

Brit punk heroes Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes up the indie-sleaze factor on brilliant fifth album.

Album review: Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – Dark Rainbow
Mark Sutherland

Mid-to-late January is the time when, without fail, good intentions start to crumble and we realise all that ‘New Year, new me’ positivity has been replaced by the same old, same old. Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, however, are made of sterner stuff. Some people’s perception of them may remain stuck in the seething punk rock of the singer's youth but, in truth – bar the post-pandemic rage unleashed on previous album Sticky – in the studio, they have long since been moving closer to Arctic Monkeys than Gorilla Biscuits. It’s their ambitious fifth record, however – augmented with pianos, synths and strings, heavy with mature power ballads and emotionally charged throughout – that might just make the world appreciate them as the consummate modern rock band they have become.

So, Dark Rainbow’s guitars simmer nicely where once they might have boiled over, while Frank’s lyrics are surprisingly flirty rather than furious, as he brings rivers of unlikely rizz to the likes of Superstar and Can I Take You Home.

But, ultimately, it’s the sheer quality of the songs that is the most seductive thing here. Honey features a sleaze-rock riff Queens Of The Stone Age would kill for; Self Love serves up pulsating fuzz-rock; and Man Of The Hour finds Frank crooning, rather beautifully, about his determination to not succumb to rock star clichés.

And, unlike the rest of us willpower-lacking lightweights, he manages to succeed; crafting an album that nods to the Rattlesnakes’ past but strikes out boldly for a bright new future. Which means that listening to Dark Rainbow on repeat is one New Year’s resolution that will be easy for everyone to stick to.

Verdict: 4/5

For fans of: Queens Of The Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys, Royal Blood

Dark Rainbow is released on January 26 via International Death Cult

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