Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes find their own path to enlightenment on End of Suffering | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes find their own path to enlightenment on End of Suffering 

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click to enlarge Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes

Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes

Daniel Alexander Harris

Update 9/23/2019: This show has been cancelled. Please contact the venue for information about pre-purchased tickets.

Vocalist Frank Carter split with British hardcore outfit Gallows in 2011 over creative differences, and when he launched his band Pure Love that same year, it was obvious that he was less interested in punk and more into aggressive, melody-forward rock ’n’ roll. But with Carter’s current project, Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes, launched in 2015, the lines between genres are much less clear. The band’s first LP, 2015’s Bottom (International Death Cult), is nasty, thrashy punk, but on its follow-up, 2017’s Modern Ruin, Carter and his fellow songwriter, guitarist Dean Richardson, moved to a more melodic, pop-structured sound, with Carter switching from screamer to singer. The group’s newest album, this spring’s End of Suffering, represents another stage of the Rattlesnakes’ evolution: they made its 12 tracks, divided equally between bangers and ballads, as Carter dealt with a divorce and a bout of anxiety. Over Richardson’s punk-inflected garage riffs, Carter sings of romantic incompatibility (“Why a Butterfly Can’t Love a Spider”), insatiable lust (“Kitty Sucker”), smashing societal expectations (“Crowbar”), and his unyielding love for his young daughter, whose giggles conclude the album by ending its title track. That song is a moving, pensive piano ballad, which reframes the Buddhist expression for enlightenment in its refrain: “Your happiness will be the end of suffering.” Carter and company may never overcome Buddhism’s cycle of rebirth—to do so requires extinguishing the “three fires” of passion, aversion, and ignorance—but their journey has been one of inward and outward growth nonetheless.   v

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