ALBUM REVIEW: Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes – ‘End Of Suffering’
The introduction of new sounds alongside important discussions regarding fragile topics has been a relatively common occurrence within the new year. Despite this new found commonality, it takes a tremendous amount of skill to intertwine these elements together, in order to create songs that are not only enjoyable for the audience, but reflect the values of the band or artist. One band executing this blend perfectly are English punk powerhouses, Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes, on their most recent album, ‘End Of Suffering’. The band’s third studio album saw both musical and personal development from members of the group, allowing them to create and extremely personable and wonderfully composed album.
Track one from ‘End Of Suffering’ is ‘Why A Butterfly Can’t Love A Spider’. This track carefully introduces the frequent bass elements and sombre vocals that are more than apparent within the rest of the album. As the title would suggest, this track is a beautiful juxtaposition of not just ideals, but of musical elements. Lyrics such as; "you dance all night, you watch as the web gets tighter, these are the reasons a butterfly can’t love a spider" construct a vivid image of differences and vulnerability. Taking the metaphor to heart, I feel the main moral of the song is to understand that whilst having differences with others is a part of human nature, we must be mindful to not let others corrode the sense of identity we have worked so hard to create, giving them a platform in our weakness. This juxtaposition is further represented toward the end of the track when the instrumentals reach their climax, whilst still being surrounded by the emotive and solemn vocals of Carter. ‘Why A Butterfly Can’t Love A Spider’ skilfully introduces themes and sounds to be found in the rest of the album, as well as producing important morals, beginning ‘End Of Suffering’ in a brilliant way.
Following is track two, ‘Tyrant Lizard King’. This is the only track on the album with a guest artist, the worthy individual being the incredibly talented, Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave). Both the instrumentals and the vocals are stronger from the beginning compared to previous tracks. The combination of these harder instrumentals and a solid chorus make the song undoubtedly catchy, producing a song that is sure to get stuck in your head. Alongside this, the instrumental break is truly magnificent. The influence of Morello is evident, and by mixing his influence with the classic Rattlesnake sound, creates a wonderful auditory representation of new and old punk styles colliding. ‘Tyrant Lizard King’ holds remnants of the classic Rattlesnake sound, whilst also being moulded to perfectly fit the album that is ‘End Of Suffering’.
Track three is ‘Heartbreaker’. Certainly more fast paced than the previous tracks, ‘Heartbreaker’ is produced as a fun, beat heavy song, that happens to be accompanied by thought provoking lyrics. With lyrics filled with personal questions and thought development, the song holds an interesting representation of love and self worth. The fast drum beats gradually merge into acoustics and then again back to a beat, providing yet another musical representation. This could reflect the nature of the protagonist and their constant changes of thought, alongside the constant battle of the worthiness of love and the array of decisions that are made to protect the second party in the song. ‘Heartbreaker’ not only uses lyrics to tell an important story, but uses the power of music, solidifying ‘End Of Suffering’ as an important and unique album.
Track four, ‘Crowbar’ was the first single from the Rattlesnakes third studio album, ‘End Of Suffering’. Musically and lyrically this track is not just an excellent single, but is one of the most important songs of this year. The track includes some amazing instrumental components, ranging from simplistic to layered, that perfectly reflect the feelings and themes depicted in the lyrics. It is these themes that are truly important. Notions of self expression, individuality and escaping the norm are more than apparent; "It’s a trap, and there’s no comfort fitting in, a fake safety that no one believes in" and "It’s the death of happiness, go and get the crowbar" truly encapsulate this. Society has constructed a box of normality and all who wander are squeezed in. From this action, individual thoughts and opinions are removed, erasing self expression. As individuals, we are called to escape this and regain individuality, or perhaps more suitably, get the crowbar and destroy the box of conformity. ‘Crowbar’ and its morals make it not only one of the most important songs off ‘End Of Suffering’, but places it at high importance around every field of art and expression.
Following is track five, ‘Love Games’. Stepping back from previous tracks, ‘Love games’ presents a soulful, ballad type track- a feeling that is reinforced through the entirety of the song. This twist in sounds creates a sense of musical diversity within the album, ensuring that the album displays all dimensions of the band’s talents, as well as capturing the essence of ‘End Of Suffering’ in a variety of ways.
The halfway point of the album is met with the heartfelt track, ‘Anxiety’. Continuing with this more reverent tone, ‘Anxiety’ pulls back any overpowering instrumentals, allowing vocals and lyrics to demand the spotlight. Through this, a sense of vulnerability is provided, and a deeper connection between the audience and the artist is established. In more ways than one, ‘Anxiety’ is an anthem of unity- calling together those who share the same struggles; "So sing this song with me, and raise your hands and stamp your feet". ‘Anxiety’ not only allows these personal connections to be made, but reassures listeners that they are not alone, offering a reminder that music is powerful and can bring individuals together. ‘Anxiety’ holds many lessons and morals, therefore making it both an intimate and important song from ‘End Of Suffering’.
Track seven is ‘Angel Wings’. The reintroduction of heavier background bass provides a sense of familiarity with the beginning of the album. Like most Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes songs, the lyrics overrule the need for any flamboyant musical elements, using simple yet effective beats and riffs that place an emphasis on the powerful lyrics. In addition to this, ‘Angel Wings’ demonstrates the true passion one’s voice can hold. Accompanied by instrumentals that gradually get heavier, Carter’s voice becomes stronger, introducing a somewhat pleading tone of voice. The change of emotions truly showcases how passion and emotion can be articulated through music, conveying these feelings all the way to the audience. ‘Angel Wings’ is yet another emotive track from ‘End Of Suffering’.
Following is track eight, ‘Supervillian’. This track holds one of the biggest changes of tone and strength in the album, yet again reflecting the diversity found within Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes’ musical projects. Furthermore, themes of self worth and questioning are revisited and discussed, solidifying these sorts of questions and themes as the body of ‘End Of Suffering’. Alongside this, ‘Supervillian’ holds an insanely catchy chorus; one which is sure to get stuck in your head!
Track nine is ‘Latex Dreams’. This track revisits familiar sounds within the album- reflecting upon sounds commonly found within the English Indie Rock label. The familiarity in this song is something quite comforting, however it disguises itself, ensuring that the track does not sound like it has been heard before. This is an extremely skilful trait that has been exhibited in many of their tracks, ultimately drawing listeners in and guiding them to the rest of the Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes discography. ‘Latex Dreams’ is a notable edition to the album that is "end Of Suffering’.
Following is track ten, ‘Kitty Sucker’. This track is undoubtedly the most fast paced and ‘unique’ songs from the album. Escaping from some of the more serious and sombre themes, ‘Kitty Sucker’ offers something fun and fresh. Further to this, the track reignites elements of punk that have been overshadowed in previous tracks, proving that the band has an extensvie range of musical influence and a large catering of genres. ‘Kitty Sucker’ provides a twist in ‘End Of Suffering’ whilst also including some unforeseen musical elements.
Track eleven is ‘Little Devil’. Immediately bringing back a tone of seriousness, this track certainly juxtaposes ‘Kitty Sucker’. However, this quick change expresses that although the band can create fun and ‘vibey’ songs, it does not strip away the validity or meaningfulness of their other tracks. Apart from the enjoyable lyrics of the song, the instrumental breaks and the background instrumentals are some of the most prominent and enjoyable on the album. ‘Little Devil’ in particular promotes the partnership of great musical elements with fascinating lyrics, combining the two to make an unforgettable track.
Concluding ‘End Of Suffering’ is the title track, ‘End Of Suffering’, Stripping it all the way back to raw acoustics, this song presents vulnerability and emotion in its highest form. In addition to this, the rawness allows both the lyrics and the emotive nature of the song to be heard and individually interpreted. In a sea of important, beautifully written lyrics, one line stands out, perfectly summarising the entirety of the album; "your happiness will be the end of suffering". Despite hardships and the suffering endured within life, it is up to us to change the course of our future; it is up to us to end the suffering. However, this is a call to a brighter path, not a darker one- calling us to choose happiness, ensuring a healthy mind is maintained and that every action is taken to put our own mental health at the highest tier of importance. This attitude can be traced back to tracks like ‘Why A Butterfly Can’t Love a Spider’ and ‘Crowbar’ that call us to be individuals, to live life as we want to, and to be happy with the person that we are. ‘End Of Suffering’ beautifully encapsulates the main themes, and is a strong conclusion to the album.
‘End Of Suffering’ uses the entirety of its track listing to promote important issues, bring untouched topics into the spotlight, and allow a sense of unification to be brought to those who need it most. Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes skilfully intertwine beautiful lyrics with trademark instrumentals to create a meaningful, interesting and important album. It is for these reasons that ‘End Of Suffering’ is a must listen album.
Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes are taking ‘End Of Suffering’ on the road! If this album review was not enough to convince you to go, check out our Australian Bring Me The Horizon ‘First Love’ show review. We could not help but write a few words down about their incredible opening performance! We hope to see you there!
Written by Georgia Haskins