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Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes - 'Dark Rainbow' Album Review


1. Honey

2. Man Of The Hour

3. Can I Take You Home

4. American Spirit

5. Happier Days

6. Brambles

7. Queen Of hearts

8. Sun Bright Golden Happening

9. Superstar

10. Self love

11. A Dark Rainbow

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes release their new album, 'Dark Rainbow', on the 26th of January. Personally I think it’s the best thing they’ve released. It’s a record of maturity, a continuation of how their sound has been developing over their last few albums and probably the most honest, open and self aware record they’ve ever recorded.

Don’t get me wrong, it very much sounds like a Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes album but, and this is why it’s so good, while they are doing everything they’ve done before it’s bigger, more ambitious, more introspective, more self aware. It’s just an excellent album. I probably should fess up I’m already a fan of the band but this album has genuinely blown me away with how good it is!

It’s like someone has set a challenge, write me your most full on rock songs but as the same time your most engaging, most emotional songs and prove to me you’ve got what it takes to move into the big leagues. It’s a challenge that has been not only met but smashed out of the park! If ever there was an album by this band you should buy it’s this one.

The band themselves have described this as the most authentic record they’ve ever made and it’s obvious why they’ve said that. It somehow manages to be forward looking and backwards looking at the same time, it is very much the continuation of the trajectory they’ve been on but at the same time it feels like an acceleration. This should be the album to push them into a lot more people’s consciousness.

Opening track 'Honey' feels like it would work really well as the opening song for a gig, it announces what’s to come but does not give you a full idea of just what’s coming, second song 'Man Of The Hour' suddenly let’s you understand this is a great album, a real statement of intent. From that point on the album veers between classic alt-rock numbers and what are almost ballads but very much in the southern gothic style they’ve made so much their own.

My own personal favourite so far, which I suspect will change as I listen more, is 'American Spirt'. It seems to incorporate everything they are about these days. While this is the bands most backwards looking record, clearly reflecting on the last 8 years, it’s also their most forward looking record at the same time.

The thing is after multiple listens now I don’t think there is a weak song on this album, to borrow a phrase from somewhere else, it’s all killer, no thriller (sorry!). I think this is the first truly great album release of 2024, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes have come out early and staked a claim for this being their year, surely that’s enough for you to give it a listen?

Personally I’ve already gone on the website and ordered a vinyl copy, is it too much now to hope for that they hit the festival circuit and go out and tour this record as much as it deserves? Personally I’d love to see them at Kendal.

Review - Iain McClay


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