Frank Carter shall be forever emblazoned into the psyche of many music fan’s minds as the ultra-intense front man for Gallows, circa 2005-2011. There have been few things in music I’ve witnessed that compare to Frank Carter; a bony unbridled force of musical nature, typically seen shirtless, adorned in tattered jean shorts and doc martins, screaming bloody blue murder into the faces of a swarming audience. The mere thought of my first Gallows experience brings the hairs on the back of my neck up. Frank exited Gallows in 2011, released music for a few years fronting Pure Love, and then moved on to Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, releasing their debut album Blossom in the summer of 2015.
Right up front: Modern Ruin is easily the best material Carter has ever done. Bar none. What he and his band-mates achieved on these dozen songs is sheer musical alchemy, and the world is a better place right now for having this musical monument at its disposal.
Modern Ruin feels like an exploration in songcraft utilizing a variety of stylings that is a real culmination of everything Carter has attempted prior - bringing forward only the very best elements of his earlier works. Carter’s vocals are both raw and righteous throughout Modern Ruin, steering each and every track to its inevitable conclusion - an album of near perfection.
The marriage of punk, pop and alt music contained on these dozen songs will get under your skin in a way that the very best albums' examples from the past twenty years have done. There is a completeness to Modern Ruin that should resonate with listeners old and young, paving the way for Modern Ruin’s inevitable descriptor to the stature of a classic album. This could very well be the album that Carter spends the rest of his life trying to top.
Honestly, pick any track to start with. "Wild Flowers" might be your logical place to start, already having a great video and some radio play to bolster the recording. Maybe jump over to "Lullabye" next, a song that boasts the musical bombast of a band like Muse or Biffy Clyro all built on a buzz-saw bass riff that is second to none. Finally, give "Snake Eyes" a listen. Another winning song that manages to blend elements comparable to past classics by the Arctic Monkeys and Queens of the Stone Age, but remaining something truly original as a third showpiece song from Modern Ruin.
There is truly no wrong place to start on this most amazing album. "Vampires" and "Neon Rust" are the two tracks I seem to be digging the most currently, but this has indeed been a changing thing over the three weeks I have playing this album repeatedly.
It’s ridiculously early in the year to be calling out a "best of the year" album, is it not? That said, there will have to be a ton of moxie on anything being released in the coming eleven months to top Modern Ruin.
Modern Ruin Track Listing:
03. Snake Eyes
05. Wild Flowers
06. Acid Veins
07. God Is My Friend
10. Real Life
11. Modern Ruin
12. Neon Rust