What a year this is turning out to be! We’ve already got new material from Frank Turner, Royal Blood, Foo Fighters, The Hold Steady, Gojira, The Pretty Reckless, Wolf Alice, Garbage and remasters from The Big Black’s (Crowes & Sabbath). There are preorders down for The Wildhearts, Spiritbox, Creeper, The Bronx, Self Esteem and the promise of Iraina Mancini, Viagra Boys, Venus Girls, Wings Of Desire and Lilith Czar… And Whatever Odd Thing’s Waiting from Iron Maiden.
We’re halfway through and I’d already consider 2021 a gala year. Then this happens. After the recent Idles collab hinted at a sort of Agropop direction for the UK punk rock outfit du jour (of this parish)
are back and bouncing!
My Town was released a couple of months back and didn’t hint that it was more than a stand alone crossover track. Idles had guests on every track on last years (in hindsight rather under appreciated) album. It is after all a very punk rock thing to do. Now! In a flurry of preorder mayhem, tour announcements and multiple format choices we are invited to the Sticky reveal. Ewww?
Along the top of a buoyant bass line and then closely followed by a battery charged strimmer of a guitar sound Frank is doing a sort of hip-hop grandstanding intro the likes of which many an album is teased with. I’m a this, I’m not a that, I’ m a bluergh not a ffnarr! That kind of thing. Some of that, Is real sticky icky icky, put it in the air, ohh wee. This sort of lightness of touch but hefty delivery may well be what we can expect from the album. With this being the title track they’d like us to think it’s representative. The various styles evolving over the last 3 albums warn us not to assume. This band are layered like an onion, or (more to the point) like the hand dryer in a decent venues toilets is with sticky promo images…
Captain Frank’s “not a vampire” but he “wants blood”, “not a ghost”, a “werewolf” or a “kraken”… and yet he “goes where monsters go” and by all accounts (including my own) he turns wherever he does go into a mosh pit. Pretty swiftly. This band a re a perfect killing machine of punk pop again making it look so easy when what they’re really doing is reinventing the genre and the rules in plain sight.
Sticky is too fast, frantic and throwaway to make major assumptions about the album it’s coming from or this new era for the band just yet. It could fit right into the set alongside Spray Paint Love, Wild Flowers, Heartbreaker and Kitty Sucker if they played a gig tomorrow.
Suffice and safe to say it would induce a frantic reaction from a soon to be sweaty crowd just like all their best stuff. So. signs are positive. And things are once again, sticky. The album sleeve suggests another step towards day glo pop culture with a foot in the summer of ‘77 and an eye on the future. Up front that’s the sound of the single. If there are heavier Crowbar, Juggernaut, Tyrant Lizards in there or darker Snake Eyes, I Hate You, End Of Suffering moments the Rattlesnakes are holding them back for now.
The headline show they played at Download Festival a couple of weeks back seems to have been the latest major step up of this bands evolution and the perfect launch ramp for albums roll out. It’s like that moment in the Eddie The Eagle Movie when you see him go up to the big slope unsupervised. A big bang to gain momentum for October when we get our actual copies and the band begin a massive tour. Their biggest yet. Here’s to the Halloween Month, Soon Come.