#NewMusicFriday (January 26th 2024)

Janaury 26th 2024 #NewMusicFriday

Another week, another handful of noteworthy #NewMusicFriday releases to be the soundtrack to your weekend (and beyond).

For starters, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes deliver Dark Rainbow’, a record born from self-reflection, memory and gratitude. Then there’s the return of Alkaline Trio with ‘Blood, Hair, And Eyeballs’ in what sounds like a promising record as they draw influence from the apocalypse culture that surrounds us all. While Militarie Gun are complementing last year’s fantastic ‘Life Under The Gun’ with ‘Life Under The Sun’. Made up of reimagined tracks from the former, any chance to hear new music after delivering one of the best albums in 2023 so soon is much welcomed.

Elsewhere, a reinvigorated Dream State show they ‘Still Dreaming’, pop-rock songstress Charlotte Sands dropped her debut album, ‘Can We Start Over?’ earlier this week and Dead Poet Society search for purpose with swaggering confidence on ‘FISSION’. Another considerable release is ‘Dust Of The Human Shape’ by Ghost Atlas, the alt-rock solo project of ERRA‘s Jesse Cash.

On the metal front, Aussie progressive band Caligula’s Horse show their ambitious side on ‘Charcoal Grace’. Likewise, German metallers Any Given Day look to show they are limitless with erm… ‘Limitless’. Whereas the orchestral world and metal come together as Bright & Black deliver the richly cinematic collection simply called ‘The Album’.


Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes
Photo Credit: Brian Rankin

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – Dark Rainbow

Throughout their eight years, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes have taken on many shades; from the gritty hardcore punk of ‘Blossom’, to cathartic alt-rock on ‘Modern Ruin’ to the transitional ‘End of Suffering’. Album number five, ‘Dark Rainbow‘, is considerably their sharpest collection yet. Having got their nostalgic punk rock energy out of their system on 2021’s Sticky’‘Dark Rainbow’ allows FC&TR to comfortably grow.

Sure, ‘Honey’, ‘Happier Days’ and ‘Self-Love’ succeed in delivering a familiar barrage of alt-rock, yet there are moments that see Carter and company diversify. The gloomy ‘Man of the Hour’ burrows in itself only to briefly shine with its soaring chorus. ‘Can I Take You Home?’ opens ominously with timid keys and Carter’s crooning voice. Likewise, ‘Brambles’ embraces a thick bassline with sweeping strings before Dean Richardson delivers a sturdy fuzzed-up guitar solo.

Admittedly, some moments will polarise longtime fans.  For example, the balladic pairing of ‘Queen of Hearts‘ and ‘Sun Bright Golden Happening’ delivers a gentle, sombre one-two punch that firmly puts the brake on any momentum that proceeds the pair.

Yet at the core of ‘Dark Rainbow’ is Carter and his songwriting poise. Consistently raw and poignant, he’s not afraid to open himself, giving listeners a thorough insight into his inner thoughts. Whether that be questioning his position as a “rock superstar” on the aforementioned ‘Man of the Hour’ and on ‘Superstar’‘Self-Love’s fuzz-laden backdrop is complemented by Carter’s reminder of “If I ever fall in love again / Let me love myself”. The confessional ‘A Dark Rainbow’ hones in Carter’s reliance for those “three little words”  despite all his highs and lows.

For all its brooding grandeur, ‘Dark Rainbow’ doesn’t sound like a band forcing themselves to explore and expand. At times, there are hints of it being the culmination of everything that has come before it. ‘American Spirit’ stomps with striking guitars and Carter’s effortlessly clean vocals, with a momentary respite, highlighting their restrained future.

‘Dark Rainbow’ is a subdued affair compared to what we’ve come to expect from Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes. Reflective and vulnerable, their evolution continues to prosper.

Dream State

Dream State – Still Dreaming

When three-fourths of a band’s line-up is replaced, you can’t help but be slightly sceptical about what the future holds for that band. However, as Dream State‘s new EP shows, a band can continue their upward trajectory.

‘Still Dreaming’ follows last year’s ‘Untethered’ outing, a three-track offering that allowed the Welsh outfit the opportunity to re-introduce themselves. It reminded us that Dream State‘s ability to deliver massive hooks intertwined with driving riffs and electronica flourishes. Having gained some road miles under this new line-up, ‘Still Dreaming’ expands on ‘Untethered’s foundations. After a brief instrumental intro, the title track explodes with Jessie Powell’s declaration of “I’m still dreaming”. Her voice is gritty, adding to the confrontational nature of the track. While bassist Jake Bowen and drummer Tom Connolly provide a stomping rhythm, countering Powell’s “woah”s in the chorus and Aled Evans’ brash guitar.

Past single, ‘Chin Up Princess’, keeps the energy levels up with rapid verses and a catchy chorus. ‘Calling Out’ is delivered with icy synths, amplifying Dream State‘s layered, broad approach with decent results. As a collective, the quartet each bring something to the table yet Powell’s growing confidence is most noteworthy. Her acrobatic voice takes charge on ‘Anxious State of Mind’, leaving you hanging on every word while her bandmates bring a textured sound that is equally rigid and bouncy.

Although ‘Set Free’ provides a prolonged three-minute interlude, Dream State end on a high with ‘Day Seeker’. Its radiant, pulsating chorus thrives with euphoric synths and an addictive hook. Lyrically, it epitomises that journey the band, especially Powell, has gone through; second-guessing themselves, and fighting through the adversity with determination.

Having shaken off the self-doubt, ‘Still Dreaming’ feels like Dream State‘s proper return, bringing an abundance of energy while layering in expansive elements with their melodic post-hardcore foundation.

What is out on #NewMusicFriday?

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – Dark Rainbow
Alkaline Trio – Blood, Hair, And Eyeballs
Dream State – Still Dreaming
Militarie Gun – Life Under The Sun
Charlotte Sands – Can We Start Over?
Dead Poet Society – FISSION
Caligula’s Horse – Charcoal Grace
Bright & Black – The Album
Any Given Day – Limitless
Ghost Atlas – Dust Of The Human Shape
Lucifer – Lucifer V
Static-X – Project: Regeneration, Vol. 2
Whitechapel – Live In The Valley
The Gems – Pheonix
The Infernal Sea – Hellfenlic
New Model Army – Unbroken
GUHTS – Regeneration
Courting – New Last Name
Drip Fed Empire – Revolutionist
Madder Mortem – Old Eyes, New Heart
Kaonashi – The 3 Faces Of Beauty: A Violent Misinterpretation Of Morgan Montgomery
NewDad – Madra

If you think I’ve missed something or have a new album/EP/song to tell us about, please tell us about it here.

If you’re looking for the latest tracks focusing on rock, punk, hardcore, metal, emo, and everything in between, then check out our ‘Newish Music’ playlist on Spotify or Apple Music.


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