Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – Sticky
Released: 15th October, 2021
Frank Carter / Vocals
Dean Richardson / guitars
Tank Barclay / bass
Gareth Grover / Drums
Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes are proof that a pandemic can’t stop the creative process. My 2020 started with seeing the band live in Perth while they toured End Of Suffering (photo gallery here) and the next thing everything was getting cancelled left, right and centre as the pandemic took over the world and entertainment venues closed. While most of us cried about staying home (you can pretend you didn’t but I saw your twitter posts), Frank and Dean Richardson seemed to have just gone straight into the studio to work on the next album. They even gave the world a virtual reality concert towards the end of 2020. Now, here we are in 2021 still waiting for the world to return to normal and they’re giving us their 4th album Sticky – and it’s freakin’ awesome!
The album starts off loud and fast with their 2nd single ‘Sticky’ and the vibe is non-stop for the next 26 minutes and 33 seconds. If anyone thought they were losing their punk-rock edge after End Of Suffering, you’re about to find out how incredibly wrong you are. This is a song most of us can relate to in our lives: Bands are sweaty and gross after shows but insist on wanting hugs, we’re all sticking to the floors that haven’t been cleaned since the venue opened 20 years ago or “What the fuck is wrong with me, kicking around at half past 3 in the morning, horny, got nowhere to sleep, at least I’m never boring” we’re homeless until the trains start again. Thankfully I’ve only experienced that once and I got to listen to my mate snore in his van until 7am.
‘Take It To The Brink’ is a fitting song for all self-confessed functioning alcoholics who use booze to drown out their problems, or if you’re like me you’ve used it to deal with social anxiety. “You don’t know how to cope but somehow you keep pushing through, your mind is dark let me light it up for you” and “what does it mean if your life is a dream and one day it turns into a nightmare” are lines fitting with everyone’s thoughts on living in constant lockdowns, but can also resonate with anyone who has had something happen that just shattered their entire life. ‘My Town’ was the first single released back in April and rocks as much now as the first time I heard it. “My town it looks like yours, needles scattered on the floor, body parts in bags in wheely bins” the song is about the collective mental state of the world thanks to Covid and lockdowns but for this literal brain, Frank is just talking about everyday life in my suburb.
‘Go Get A Tattoo’ (featuring Lynks) is the 3rd single off Sticky and is definitely one of my favs. “Are you sure, you don’t look sure and we’ve been in this mess before” made me laugh when I first heard it. My first tattoo I almost bailed on it but on the day the artist showed me the design and I was like “yeah whatever let’s just do this”. He told me I didn’t have to go ahead with it but once it was started I chilled the fuck out and I have zero regrets. A line from the chorus “Smash your sadness, go get a tattoo” is sure to be an anthem amongst every single person who has missed getting stabbed with a bunch of needles during the past year.
I had an 80’s binge recently when it occurred to me we just don’t hear enough saxophone anymore. That’s been sorted with songs like ‘Rat Race’ and ‘Original Sin’. Firstly, ‘Rat Race’ is like listening to old school punk rock and ‘Original Sin’ finishes the album on a slower tempo, then half way through gives us some super seductive vocals from Bobby Gillespie reminiscent of INXS‘s Michael Hutchence. Coincidence with the title track and performance? There could be!
It’s hard to be biased while writing this review because as soon as I received the album, I listened to it on loop for 2 days straight. It’s that damn good! Sticky flows so well it’s just one banger after another and honestly it’s been a long time since I’ve listened to an album where I didn’t want to skip past a bunch of songs. I just hope we don’t have to wait until 2030 before Australia is vaccinated and we can have tours again. I’d really love to hear this one live before I die of old age. As far as I’m concerned this is the album of the year!
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – Sticky tracklisting
2. Cupid’s Arrow
3. Bang Bang (feat Lynks)
4. Take It To The Brink
5. My Town (feat Joe Talbot)
6. Go Ge A Tattoo (fat Lynks)
7. Off With His Head (feat Cassyette)
8. Cobra Queen
9. Rat Race
10. Original Sin (feat Bobby Gillespie)