Frank Carter has spent almost 15 years at the mercy of his ferocious live performances. Driven by blood-thirsty audiences and the adrenaline of his hardcore roots, the British singer-songwriter has left his deepest wounds unstitched and on display. While Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes’ third album ‘End Of Suffering’ (a name inspired by the buddhist term for enlightenment) isn’t necessarily the exception, it does sees Carter begin to sew these stitches shut, while simultaneously stirring up a melting pot of full-bodied rock and roll ecstasy.
Truly, Carter’s lyrics are as personal as they are agonising, intertwining tales of love lost and gained, through to his head-on collisions with anxiety and self-destruction. Yet, there’s a new sense of self that glosses over the sadness on tracks like ‘Heartbreaker’, which, when armed with the confidence of ‘Crowbar’, makes the record feel as invincible as the band behind it.
The marks of mixer Alan Moulder (Nine Inch Nails, Queens Of The Stone Age) are inescapable as each hook grooves into gear, each song laced with a drop of pop essence. Opener ‘Why A Butterfly Can’t Love A Spider’ sets the polished dynamic, with Dean Richardson’s riffs luring you in deeper on tracks like ’Love Games’ and ‘Angel Wings’, before the entrancing electro-buzz of ’Kitty Sucker’ and ‘Little Devil’ take hold. Carter’s vocals reach equally new strengths throughout, confidently conducting their way around big melodies and softer lullabies without difficulty.
The title track, and album’s final five minutes, feels completely inconsolable as acoustic guitar accompanies Carter’s most crushing anecdotes of all. It remains entirely intentional, as Carter disarms himself in the escaping few minutes. With new scars exposed, a complete sense of vulnerability quickly cloaks what is, undoubtedly, the Rattlesnakes’ most captivating album yet.