There seems to be a growing trend of bands offering album/ticket bundles right now and I’m all for it. As part of the promotion for new album ‘End Of Suffering’, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes announced a run of intimate, low key shows at record stores and small venues.

Billed as an album release show, the only way to gain entry to either of this evening’s 2 shows (an earlier acoustic set and a later full band electric set) was to buy an album/ticket bundle from Crash Records in Leeds. £24.99 for a splatter vinyl and a ticket to see one of the hottest live acts in the country play at my favourite venue? I only had 3 words…take my money!!

“I’ve been waiting 15 fuckin’ years to play this room…don’t let me down!” says a bare-chested and sweating Frank Carter before launching himself into the baying crowd during ‘Lullaby’…or was it ‘Juggernaut’? I don’t remember, as you see a Frank Carter show is chaos, fucking chaos! I knew this, I’ve seen him a few times now, that’s why I’m standing on the steps to get a good view, far away from the rabid crowd, who want a piece of this enigmatic frontman. A man who causes manic young men and women to lose their shit for the majority of a high energy hour or so show.

It started way more chilled than I expected, especially as the last time I saw them (earlier this year at Fibbers in York) it was the excellent  ‘Crowbar’ that got things off to a frantic start. The acoustic, uncredited final track on the vinyl version of ‘End Of Suffering’ lends itself well as an intro tape before the band open with ‘Why A Spider Can’t Love A Butterfly’. The atmosphere is electric as the song builds and builds to a crescendo, Frank seemingly relishing the chance to get emotional from the off.

It’s not until the following ‘Tyrant Lizard King’ that the chaos begins. The crowd are off and bouncing as one unit, already singing the words to a seemingly new crowd favourite. An old crowd favourite follows. ‘Vampires’ makes the crowd truly react as the frontman desires, a smile across his face as the darkened room becomes an animated sea of flailing arms and legs.

For the next 50 minutes or so the onstage roadie earns his crust pulling crowd surfers from the crest of a human wave and guiding them stage left. If anyone outstays their welcome, Frank grabs them by the shirt and throws them back into the chaos, with a smile.

In this claustrophobic club environment, this band truly thrives. A young blonde haired lass makes it to the stage maybe five or six times, she’s all over the frontman, much to his amusement. Elsewhere a scrawny Frank doppelganger, with dodgy tattoos and an even dodgier mustache, is having the time of his life, on his back sailing a sea of hands.

The new songs fit the set well. The regimental ‘Heartbreaker’ has the crowd fist-pumping, as guitarist Dean Richardson thrashes the riff out on his battered Telecaster. ‘Kitty Sucker’ was always going to be a highlight, and while the beautiful ‘Angel Wings’ and crowd favourite ‘Anxiety’ offers a respite from the high energy show, the intensity of ‘Devil Inside Of Me’ was always going to get the crowd going again. And if anyone was still needing more, if there was just one person who felt they didn’t get their money’s worth yet, we get ‘Crowbar’, not just once…but twice in succession.

Those who are now spent gather themselves together with just enough strength to sing the band’s ultimate hate anthem ‘I Hate You’.

It’s no fluke that Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes will play third down on the main stage below Foo Fighters at Reading/Leeds festival this year. They are one of the most exciting live bands in the country right now, with a fierce reputation. They also happen to have recorded one of the best albums of the year in my humble opinion.

The band stay true to their beliefs, they sweat and bleed to deliver for their growing fanbase night after night, and I sure hope they continue to play these intimate club shows. Tonight’s show was a one off experience. Heavy, hot and totally exciting from beginning to end… everything you desire from a live rock band and more. If you missed it, then you missed out.

 

Buy End Of Suffering Here

Author: Ben Hughes

Frank Carter on a school nite in Swansea, let’s have a bit of that. I’ll be upfront, I really wasn’t sure what to expect, knowing what Gallows were like live I was a little bit unsure how or even what the setlist would be like, how far Frank would delve back into what’s let’s be honest is a rather blinding back catalogue. Truth be told the set that followed was put together from equal parts Blossom, Modern ruin and the soon to be released End of suffering, I suppose as Frank has battled through some demons, hinted at tonight he has grown and developed his songwriting, used the experiences and the three albums mentioned as a Cathartic experience and is now much more settled, while retaining that bit of an edge that holds the older fans interests.

 

But let’s not forget there was another band on first the rather splendid Black Futures, I suppose not having heard anything prior can sometimes be a hindrance or conversely leave you with a blank slate no preconceptions, in this case, it definitely opened my mind up to what the guys were presenting. With the two dancer’s, One either side in has-mat suits and shades and the industrial noise and intense strobe lighting between them I have to admit they perked up my interest straight away, at times veering /careering through KMFDM, NIN, Skinny Puppy influences what you ended up with was a great post-punk Industrial noise hitting you full on, slightly anarchic, all over the place, lots of ideas that can only develop over time, very much like another new band out there Sleep Token, be great to see them out as a doubleheader (If any promoters brave enough!!) they are definitely a band that I’ll check out again.

 

With an early doors finish tonight after a very short break we’re in to the main event, what was great was the feeling of being at an old school gig, the whole crowd up for it, singing/hanging on every word, the mosh pits grew and grew, the crowd surfing increased and just about everyone was up for a good time. Opening up with Crowbar was a no-brainer, but I’m not quite sure why it put in another appearance later in the set, the tracks from Modern Ruin I have to be honest stood out for me, I’m still singing Lullaby almost 3 days later, in fact looking back there wasn’t a track that you could say didn’t hit the mark the band were relentless, but at the same time the End of Suffering tracks seem to be moving in a different direction, more restrained, less angst, but pointing towards a crossover, not into the mainstream, but crossing genres picking up new fans along the way. On the strength of this performance, you can see some big festival appearances high up the bill later this year. Case in point “Heartbreaker”, with a female only stage diving section and the highlighting of the fact that women should be allowed to stage dive without the fear of being groped, something that seems to have permeated the psyche of a certain type of gig going pervert, thankfully very much in the minority. The shout out to mental health issues within “Anxiety” again pushed a strong message out there and as mentioned I think showing a band and front-man growing more confident allowing their natural voice to come through. Standouts tonight for me Lullaby, Trouble, Acid Veins and a rather blinding Devil inside me, finishing off with the crowd led “I hate you”!! I suppose the thing I took from tonight was how far Frank has moved things forward from the Gallows days, this band and this music is going in a new direction, shedding its skin so to speak, coming through more colourful and vibrant, but losing a bit of that old school attitude/comfort. There’s a balancing act going on and one that’s being managed well, new fans and old coming together and providing a defiantly old school arena to perform within “Long live the new flesh”.

author: Nev Brooks Pics : Johnny Hayward

NEW LP “END OF SUFFERING” RELEASED MAY 3RD ON INTERNATIONAL DEATH CULT Pre Order link 
also, Frank, has a pre-order link available for people pre-ordering the new album (details here)
They say the third time’s the charm, and, after the breathtaking, ruthlessly efficient one-two punch of “Blossom” and “Modern Ruin”, here we are – at Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes’ album number three – at once a stadium sized declaration of intent and a deeply personal cri-de-coeur called “End of Suffering”.
Recorded in just six months over the heatwave that engulfed London last year, End Of Suffering – named after the Buddhist term for enlightenment- is the sound of a band entering an entirely new realm of the senses, a forty minute rock’n’rollercoaster of molten-hot bangers, scorched-soul ballads and grunge lullabies laced through with a lacerating lyrical honesty.
With Cam Blackwood (George Ezra / Jack Savoretti) at the helm and legendary mixer Alan Moulder (Nine Inch Nails / Queens Of The Stone Age) sprinkling sonic stardust, the resultant album sees Carter, co-songwriter Dean Richardson and co not so much spreading their wings as running and leaping headfirst into heretofore uncharted waters. Opener ‘Why A Butterfly Can’t Love A Spider’ finds Frank at full stretch, singing: “When I’m high I’m in heaven/When I’m low I’m in hell”, while the first single “Crowbar” is tauter than a highwire and relentlessly sharpened to a razor’s edge, a sonic Molotov cocktail of a track delivered with the anarchic zeal of the gilets-Jaunes rioters. “I saw an amazing bit of graffiti during the Paris riots which said: ‘We’ve cut off heads for less than this’” enthuses Frank. “I loved that attitude. People are sick of being force-fed doom and gloom.” It also comes complete with a video directed by long-time collaborator Ross Cairns (who has also directed videos for Biffy Clyro and QOTSA) and acts as a blistering clarion call to arms. 
When the fury is dialed down, however, even more, startling shades start to surface. ‘Anxiety’ is a paranoic festival anthem in waiting, while ‘Love Games’ is an absolute beauty; a distortion-heavy nod to Amy Winehouse’s finest moment destined to soundtrack the summer.   ‘Angel Wings’, meanwhile, is as bleakly poetic as Charles Bukowski. A howl of existential despair involving vodka and Vicodin induced visions of  ‘feathers made of diamond rings/dragons made of oxygen’ it’s worthy of those other harrowingly honest third albums, The Manic Street Preachers’ Holy Bible & Nirvana’s In Utero (both band favourites).
The album also features Tom Morello as a guest guitarist on ‘Tyrant Lizard King’. The two re-connected after many years at Resurrection Festival in Spain last summer, where Frank infamously sang Rage classic ‘Killing In The Name’ to a 40,000 strong crowd, finishing the track with a stage dive worthy of the rock’n’roll hall of fame. 
Indeed. In an age of say-nothing pop and codified corporate rock, End Of Suffering does what all great music should- lift the spirits and stir the soul. 
In the lead up to album release, Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes will play intimate shows across the UK and Europe, bringing their trademark intensity and raucous stage presence to tiny venues and giving a first glimpse of End Of Suffering in a live setting. Tickets to these very intimate gigs will be available to fans early via an exclusive pre-sale on the website, head here.
End Of Suffering will be released on several exclusive, limited edition formats,  full info on the band’s website here.
LIVE DATES
Thursday, February 7 – The Bullingdon, Oxford
Friday, February 8 – Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Saturday, February 9 – Dreamland (Ballroom), Margate  
Monday, February 11 – The Old Fire Station, Bournemouth
Tuesday, February 12 – The Fleece, Bristol
Wednesday, February 13 – Sin City, Swansea   
Friday, February 15 – The Sugarmill, Stoke
Saturday, February 16 – Empire, Coventry
Monday, February 18 – Peddler, Sheffield
Tuesday, February 19 – Arts Club Theatre, Liverpool  
Thursday, February 21 – Think Tank, Newcastle
Friday, February 22 – Liquid Rooms, Edinburgh
Saturday, February 23 – Fibbers, York
Friday, March 15 – M4M Festival, Zurich – Switzerland
Saturday, March 16 – Z-Bau, Nuremberg – Germany
Monday, March 18 – Rockhal, Esch-sur-Alzette – Luxembourg
Tuesday, March 19 – La Poudriere, Belfort – France
Wednesday, March 20 – Les Docks, Lausanne – Switzerland  
Friday, March 22 – La Cooperative de Mai, Clermont Ferrand – France
Saturday, March 23 – Rockstore, Montpellier – France
Monday, March 25 – Santeria Club, Milan – Italy
Tuesday, March 26 – Locomotive Club, Bologna – Italy  
Thursday, March 28 –  Culture Factory, Zagreb – Croatia
Friday, March 29 – Simm City, Vienna – Austria
Saturday, March 30 – Akvarium Klub, Budapest – Hungary
Monday, April 1 – Hydrozagadka, Warsaw – Poland
Wednesday, April 3 – Lucerna Bar, Prague – Czech Republic
Thursday, April 4 – Bei Chez Heinz, Hannover – Germany
Friday, April 5 – Matrix Club, Bochum – Germany
Saturday, April 6 – Faster & Louder Festival– Eindhoven, Netherlands
Wednesday, May 30th – Dauwpop Festival, Hellendoorn
Saturday, June 1st – Primavera Sound, Barcelona
Friday, July 5th – Down The Rabbit Hole, Ewijk
Thursday, 20th July – Deichbrand Festival, Cuxhaven  
Tuesday, 13th August – Sziget Festival, Budapest