There’s always been more to Frank Carter than wild-eyed, white hot fury – even if that emotion remains at the forefront of the former Gallows and Pure Love firebrand’s persona.
One of UK punk’s defining figures, he moves into ever more surreal and experimental territory on this, his second album with The Rattlesnakes. From the woozy, feverish rock ‘n’ roll of ‘Lullaby’ to the rabid, take-no-prisoners intensity of ‘Vampires’ and the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it ‘Jackals’, ‘Modern Ruin’ shows off the weird and wonderful side of his vision in all its glory.
He doesn’t hold back lyrically, either – touching on everything from warped love stories to alcoholic amnesia (“What did I do last night / and will I be ashamed”, whispers Frank on ‘Snake Eyes’) and apocalyptic self-loathing (“Send me to hell / it’s where I belong” he spits on ‘God Is My Friend’).
It all builds towards the climactic one-two punch of ‘Modern Ruin’ and ‘Neon Rust’ – the former a vicious punk rager and the closer a desolate, haunting funeral march.
More than a decade on from ‘Orchestra Of Wolves’, Frank is still singing from a different hymn sheet to everyone else, and that’s well worth celebrating.