With a shared worldview and only four months separating their dates of birth, this particular duet seems so head-slappingly obvious it’s almost weird that these two haven’t crossed paths on record before. But Sticky pulls a brace of other collaborators into the Rattlesnakes’ orbit, with guests across the age spectrum joining Frank and musical partner/producer Dean Richardson. Primal Scream’s talismanic leader Bobby Gillespie, a man with notable form when it comes to dance-punk, shows up on album closer Original Sin, lending extra gravitas to its Biblical-sounding lyrics. Appearances elsewhere from rising stars Lynks and Cassyette broaden the album’s perspective and appeal, while also offering a reminder that Frank, far from being the outlier he sometimes appears, has influenced a swathe of younger artists, echoes of his iconoclastic style both audibly and visibly evident in the likes of YUNGBLUD and Slowthai.
Key to all this, and indeed to everything he does, is Frank’s honesty, and there’s still room on Sticky for some more personal songs about affairs of the heart. Cupid’s Arrow matches a tale of lust and anxiety with one of the album’s catchiest hooks, while Cobra Queen is a love song as poetic as it is punchy. Not bad for a record which also features two consecutive songs that mention people having their teeth smashed in. But this dichotomy sums up the man and this fearless album, an absolutely banging document of the last two years that will resonate far beyond his existing audience.
For fans of: Royal Blood, IDLES, Slaves
Sticky is released on October 15 via International Death Cult