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Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes - Dark Rainbow

  by Adrian Janes

published: 4 / 5 / 2024

Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes - Dark Rainbow
Label: International Death Cult
Format: CD


Strong and emotional fifth album from Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes which embraces various shades of rock

Despite the labels of hardcore and punk rock which are commonly applied to Frank Carter, on the evidence of ‘Dark Rainbow’ these genres are largely being left behind for a more mainstream style of rock. Yet such is the sense of dynamics, that switches from soft to loud and slow to fast show Carter and his band still able to draw upon that reservoir of energy when required. While his voice may not have a great range, he knows well how to use it in various ways, from crooning verses (‘Brambles’, ‘Queen of Hearts’) to anthemic, impassioned choruses (‘Man of the Hour’, ‘Superstar’, ‘A Dark Rainbow’). Intentional or not, there is often an American inflection to his vocals of the alternative rock school, which will probably do him no harm in appealing to that market: this Billy Idolesque slant is especially pronounced on ‘Happier Days’ and ‘Self-Love’. Perhaps as some sort of corrective, there is ‘American Spirit’, which seems to be a critique of a certain style of hedonism: “Why are you acting uncouth/Then blaming it on your youth”. Lyrically the songs are chiefly snapshots of relationships at various stages. On ‘Honey’, where guitars do indeed swarm like bees, desire is foremost, whereas ‘Man of the Hour’ is a more complicated complaint about a woman’s wish to see Carter as no more than a “Rockstar, Pornstar”, and ‘Sun Bright Golden Happening’ is a plea for love and even domesticity (“All I ever wanted/Was a house to call my own”). ‘A Dark Rainbow’ itself, while at least in part a love song, appears to find some sort of redemption from suffering in this love, as enigmatically expressed in the rainbow image. Dean Richardson, as Carter’s musical lieutenant on guitars and keyboards as well as production, deserves a lot of credit for the balance on each track which, while always ensuring the clarity of the vocals, also ensures that the playing is as powerful or as restrained as it needs to be. An album that has an undeniable initial impact, it will also be worth returning to so as to further explore its moods and colours.

Track Listing:-
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

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