Posted on August 20th, 2015 (1:00 pm) by Justin Goodman

Frank Carter’s newest band’s debut album – After Gallows' masterful, dully ended 2006 Orchestra of Wolves and his Pure Love debut Anthems weirdly fluctuating between Foo Fighters alt rock and Bowling For Soup pop punk– has one of the funniest, most histrionic lines I’ve heard this year: “I hate you and I wish you would die/It makes me violently angry when I see you alive.” My guess is he realized, after singing “I’m so sick of singing about hate” on, “Bury My Bones”, that he wasn’t that sick of singing about it. It’s the extremism that made Glassjaw’s Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence (with special note of “Pretty Lush”) one of the best albums of 2000. The Rattlesnakes is an apt name though, because Blossom has all the venom of a snake yet the appearance of a child’s toy.

Which, to be curmudgeonly, might be what is wanted given the recent re-examination of morality in the metal scene. Whether or not you agree with Magdalene’s review of Enabler’s Fail to Feel Safe, violent content does not necessarily depreciate the value of great art. Above all, great art requires ferocious sincerity. Which is why the already musically talented Glassjaw was great in its time. Blossom, however, comes across as airy and damagingly self-aware. Take “Paradise” – one of the several songs distressed by rock, wanting to be metal and hardcore punk – an exceedingly unoriginal criticism of religious ideas (Nietzsche wasn’t even original regarding God and heaven) mixed with unvarying, blandly non-technical instrumental work. Halfway through, when the churning ends and the rhythm guitar and bass bridge begins, I scrolled down and saw this Youtube comment posted by the band’s account: “When we play this song my head is full of blood and rage and everything that is wrong with the world.” It’s a noble anger, but so vaporous and vague that you can’t believe he can hold the steam in his head.

This sentiment is continued with the various spits, grunts, and groans throughout the album. Their consistency and haphazard placement makes them more obligatory features of a “hardcore” track than an actual expressions of anger. If you didn’t listen to all of “Pretty Lush,” skip to 2:20. About ten seconds in the music cuts and Daryl Palumbo tries and fails to scream “fuck,” stuttering with such authenticity that he comes across as stumbling over his rage. The chorus is sexist (“You can lead a whore to water and you can bet she’ll drink and follow orders”), but I’d rather begin with the lush, vibrant and complex construction. The morality, while inescapably in need of change, is an artifact of culture. Perhaps the least reassuring detail about Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes is that there are no controversies or fanfares, no pitchforks or trumpets, to announce an Alex Turner/Benjamin Kowalewicz fusion with confused musical aspirations and a hatred of everything that is popular to hate. Contrary to the name of Blossom’s strongest track, a true lo-fi aggression, the album is quite fangless.

Track Listing:

  1. Juggernaut
  2. Trouble
  3. Fangs
  4. Devil Inside Me
  5. Paradise
  6. Loss
  7. Beautiful Death
  8. Rotten Blossom
  9. Primary Explosive
  10. I Hate You
Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

55 / 100
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