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Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes had just played the gig of their lives, headlining Alexandra Palace in London, when the world pressed the pause button. At first, they went into the studio to bottle that intensity, of being one of the best live acts in the country, with a number four album in 2019's End of Suffering. But during the uncertainty of the past year, where they snatched pockets of time to write together when they could, Frank Carter and Dean Richardson ended up with something far gnarlier, channelling all their frustrations and the grittiness of the city into 10 eviscerating tracks. Let's get one thing straight, though: "It's not a lockdown record," says Carter, "it's a freedom record."
'Sticky', their fourth album, clearly marks the next phase for the Rattlesnakes and was produced, for the first time, by Richardson. It solidifies the pair as one of the most exciting partnerships in punk-rock and Carter – since his early days in hardcore punk band Gallows and then as Pure Love – as a vital voice in UK music, rallying against injustice, the patriarchy, right-wing politics and toxic masculinity.
Over the course of three albums since 2015, the duo have built a reputation for blistering anthemia that owes as much to brooding desert rock as it does blistering hardcore and power-pop – sex, rage and letting rip. They're the very definition of a modern rock band, both artists as well as musicians – Richardson with his design studio Yuck and Carter, a well-known tattoo artist. But on Sticky, their sound practically punches out of the speakers with a new directness and immediacy.
1. Sticky 2. Cupid's Arrow 3. Bang Bang (featuring Lynks) 4. Take It To The Brink 5. My Town (featuring Joe Talbot) 6. Go Get A Tattoo (featuring Lynks) 7. Off With His Head (featuring Cassyette) 8. Cobra Queen 9. Rat Race 10. Original Sin (featuring Bobby Gillespie)