Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes: Blossom Review

This was my twelfth review for Cool Try.

This was written in 2015 but it is only now that I’ve found out that Blossom isn’t a “solo” album. I’m mentioning this as I imply it is with the opening sentence despite strongly implying the album was the work of a collective near the and of the review.

I think that with this review I was getting a bit closer to what I wanted to at the time which was something a bit more in depth and explanatory about why parts of what I was reviewing did and didn’t work, though there were parts that needed to be fleshed out.

There also needed to be editing for consistency.

I can still remember a part of a song on the album and it intrigues me enough to want to listen to it again. Maybe it’s held up.

I’ve fixed up some of the review’s sentence spacing it reads a bit better, but otherwise it is as it was.

Now for the part where I plug other stuff:

Most of my review and interview work now appears on Culture Eater.
My colleague and I set up a Patreon to further develop Culture Eater as a source of good quality arts coverage from both ourselves and our contributors.

We’re looking at what we can give to supporters as we don’t want to set up a one way relationship, so suggestions are welcome. Podcast Eater is one of the things we’ve got going. At the moment it comes out fortnightly, though we are looking to go weekly. Please consider supporting, or at least sharing the Patreon page with others.

Please also check out what our wonderful contributors are contributing.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy.

Despite being around for a while, Frank Carter is now striking out with an album of his own.

From the heavy opener “Juggernaut”, it is immediately clear that this is not going to be a light listen. Much of the music is highly abrasive in nature, sounding like it was designed to cut with precision and finesse, whilst Frank’s screaming (and occasional singing) about various subjects (death, pain, and hatred are some of the subjects covered) is highly incisive.

Some songs seem to go longer than they should have (“Paradise” probably could have been split into two songs and not suffered), but for the most part, a lot of the songs are in and out quickly. This is good as had the songs been too long, they would have lost much of their impact due to how intense the music is.

“A Beautiful Death” is a real highlight here. As the song moves through its sections, Frank sounds more and more pained, as though he is breaking down from the weight of grief.
Everything comes together excellently here: The band sound just as downbeat as Frank who puts in an incredibly strong performance. Lines such as “And I’m sorry I can’t tell you / That I love you anymore / Or that I care about you more now / Than I ever did before” work well here as they’re screamed at near-incomprehensible levels, accentuating the pain he is trying to get across.

Conversely, “Rotten Blossom”, with it’s philosophical waxing about dying doesn’t quite work. Whilst the delivery that Frank employs is usually on point throughout the rest of the album, the lyrics don’t let it work as well. “Are we food for the worms or dust for the earth ? / Are we more complicated than we are at birth?” sounds good, but the vocals are too strong and the music is too uptempo. It ends up giving the song a cheesier feel than it should have.

The closer, “I Hate You”, with more of a blues/ rock sound, doesn’t seem to fit well here; at least not as the last song. At this point the album had ended nicely with “Primary Explosive”, a highly hard-hitting stomper. “I Hate You” comes in after it and almost immediately has Frank describing how much hatred he has for someone. As that’s all he does on this song, it can leave the listener wondering why Frank hates this person so much. The song isn’t bad; it just would have worked better if it didn’t close the album.

Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes have put a solid amount of effort and utilised their experience well to make Blossom. The result is an album that, despite some missteps, works quite well.

As someone who is unfamiliar to anything the musicians here have made in the past, it leaves me looking forward to hearing what they make in the future.

About Stupidity Hole

I'm some guy that does stuff. Hoping to one day fill the internet with enough insane ramblings to impress a cannibal rat ship. I do more than I probably should. I have a page called MS Paint Masterpieces that you may be interested in checking out. I also co-run Culture Eater, an online zine for covering the arts among other things. We're on Patreon!
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