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EP Review: Rotten by Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes

Guest Reviewer: Matt Dickinson

In case you didn’t know Frank Carter is the former Gallows and Pure Love front man – two bands that couldn’t be much further apart if they tried – one that pushed punk and hardcore into the British mainstream, the other are more upbeat expansive sound. His new project Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes is firmly in the camp of angry snarling and fierce. They emerged seemingly out of nowhere earlier this year with the single ‘Fangs’.

Opener to Rotten ‘Fangs’ is chaotic and back to the roots that we all grew familiar with in Carter’s Gallows days. It’s short, snappy and catchy. I don’t want to keep drawing comparisons to Gallows, but this song sounds like a more polished but still rough (in a good way) track from their first record “If you’ve got fangs, then sink ’em in” is going to be heard from crowds all over the country come June.

Second song ‘Paradise’ carries on in this fashion, a politicized song about Carter’s disdain for suicide bombers. It kicks off in furious fashion, but still even on a topic like this the lyrics are the kind of thing a crowd will be singing along to in a sweaty club “your paradise does not exist, it’s a tomb full of emptiness” stands out as a particular memorable lyric, and the breakdown halfway through is something I’m a huge fan of.

‘Primary Explosive’ is a third slice of menace that rips through your headphones and leaves you wanting more, it sounds like it’s upbeat musically but there’s that snarl and swagger about it that runs through the EP, then we get to the chorus which lifts things up in terms of tempo and feel. There’s also a hidden track called ‘Loss’ which is just Frank and a guitar. There is raw emotion here that has to be heard, Carter sounds like he’s on the verge of tears. This is the standout for me, along with lead single ‘Fangs’

Rotten gets a 9/10 for me – if this is the start, then can’t wait for what comes next!

For fans of: Gallows (old school); Mongol Horde; Pulled Apart By Horses

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