Doesn’t weigh itself down too much

Frank Carter has a hard earned and well deserved reputation within the English punk and hardcore scene. Since originally leading Gallows to the top of the heap with Grey Britain in 2009, an album that blew the doors right open for an already bubbling resurgence of English punk and hardcore, Carter has grown restless musically and experimented with punk in its many varying forms. This album is a culmination of everything he has amassed musically with an extra twist of modern pop.

An electro thud underpins the album with a solid bassline holding it all together, along with a comeback of Carter’s outward-looking, scathing punk rock skewed vision of society and all that makes it ill. Opening with Sticky, a straight-ahead pop punk piece recounting a big night out on the town and the struggles of getting safely back home. Just like his first post Gallows group Pure Love, Cupid’s Arrow is sugary sweet pop rock with a thudding bass undercurrent driving the track along that feels out of place if you check into the story within the lyrics, but the sheen of the music just has you tapping your foot.

This album rolls along smoothly, locked into a formula that is musically comfortable for any modern punk band coming from the UK, carried by Carter’s ability to tell a story and attack society without the casual listener cottoning on, just like the great punks before him. This is until My Town comes thudding out, a story of urban decay anyone near any major city in any country could associate with, featuring a swivel-eyed guest appearance by Joe Talbot of Idles.

Sticky doesn’t weigh itself down too much. The playful Go Get a Tattoo comes across as much an advertisement for Carter’s tattoo shop as a way to break up the subject matter andthe addition of a saxophone to penultimate track Rat Race creates an 80s rock feel that is best heard than described, and this carries into closer Original Sin. 

This album isn’t out to change the world, just to make its audience look around and perhaps make  enough of a change to themselves or their surrounds to make life a little easier for the next person that comes along. The message is in the positivity of the music.

1. Sticky
2. Cupid’s Arrow
3. Bang Bang
4. Take It to the Brink
5. My Town
6. Go Get a Tattoo
7. Off With His Head
8. Cobra Queen
9. Rat Race
10. Original Sin