Frightened Rabbit
Sing The Greys


3.0
good

Review

by Ali CONTRIBUTOR (130 Reviews)
July 9th, 2010 | 13 replies | 7,778 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An unremarkable debut, but one that planted the seeds for future excellence.

Throughout my time on this website, it has often struck me that many of the most acclaimed and hyped bands have progressed from rather unremarkable beginnings to create some of the music that we know and love the most. The National, for instance, started out with their self-titled, a good album, but one that pales in comparison to their later masterpieces. Thrice, too came from humble beginnings with Identity Crisis, while Brand New’s improvement since Your Favorite Weapon has been truly exceptional. Frightened Rabbit are another band that has gained a strong Sputnik following, yet they are another example of a gifted act that got off to a relatively slow start.

Hailing from Selkirk in the Scottish borders, Frightened Rabbit was initially a solo project of singer and guitarist Scott Hutchinson, but soon developed into a full band with the additions of Billy Kennedy on guitar and his brother Grant on drums. This, their debut LP, was released in 2006 by local label Hits The Fan, with a limited run of only a thousand copies. A re-release the following year increased the albums availability to the wider public, but the album still received little attention, falling well under the radar. The album’s initial obscurity was, of course one of the reasons for this, but the fact that there was little to get excited about must surely be another explanation.

As you might expect, Sing The Greys is a rather primitive record from a band still very much finding its feet. There isn’t really much that makes them stand above the indie rock crowd, and while still a decent debut, unremarkable is the perfect adjective to describe it. There isn’t a lot of variation shown throughout the album’s twelve tracks, meaning that it can become rather tiring to listen to at times and many of the songs seem to blend into eachother. This isn’t exactly helped by the lo-fi production, or the fact that at this stage the bands sound was bare in comparison to their later works.

There are, however, also a number of positive aspects of this album that cannot be ignored. The charm that is often stated as one of the bands greatest strengths is certainly present, whether that be by Hutchinson’s passionate, Scottish accent or the heartfelt music that backs it up. Instrumentally, the band are also pretty sound, and although the variety present from here on in is absent, all three members deliver solid performances on their respective instruments. Hutchinson’s potential as a songwriter is also displayed, with a number of promising musical ideas and well-written lyrics making appearances.

Unfortunately, much of this said potential is left unfulfilled, which can make Sing The Greys more frustrating than joyful. Songs like Beware! and Square 9 are spawned from good ideas, but end up losing momentum, resulting in a rather mediocre final product. The short interlude passages between some of the songs also don’t really enhance the flow of the album, making them rather pointless within its context. That said, there are a few gems here that make this album a worthwhile listen. Opener, The Greys is driven by a catchy riff that makes it an early standout, a feature shared with the equally infectious Go-Go-Girls. The record’s strongest moment, however, is Be Less Rude, a wonderful three minute nugget that exhibits pretty much every positive aspect of the album as a whole, and remains one of the bands most charming moments.

Although it’s far from perfect, Sing The Greys is still an interesting listen, especially for established fans of the band. Newcomers would be best advised to start with either of the two excellent studio outings that followed, but this often overlooked origin certainly plants the seeds for that future success. Every band has to start somewhere, and the fact that Frightened Rabbit built so significantly on this solid but unspectacular base is yet another reason to commend one of today’s brightest musical projects.


Recommended Tracks
Be Less Rude
The Greys
Go-Go-Girls



Recent reviews by this author
King Creosote From Scotland With LoveRM Hubbert First and Last
Withered Hand New GodsThe Twilight Sad Live at Paisley Abbey
Stephen Malkmus Wig Out At JagbagsThe Strypes Snapshot
user ratings (68)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
July 9th 2010



7314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hope the reviews ok, I felt that this needed one.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
July 9th 2010



15332 Comments


i can't believe this was never reviewed before! album is quite good, but it is no midnight organ fight.

and i pretty much agree with the review

Digging: Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds - Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus

BigHans
July 9th 2010



26455 Comments


I should probably hear this considering I fap over the other two.

STOP SHOUTING!
July 9th 2010



631 Comments


i always think there should be some real spark of originality in a debut album.

Knott-
Emeritus
July 9th 2010



10194 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i was gonna review this soon but theres little to no point now. good review.

i LOVE The Greys - could easily fit on TMOF - and Behave! Other than that it's mostly good, a few mis-steps along the way.

Knott-
Emeritus
November 17th 2010



10194 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

im sick of feeling sick and not throwing up

Knott-
Emeritus
May 24th 2011



10194 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

and you sit in my stomach and you seem to be stuck and it

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
May 24th 2011



7314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Slowly become one of my very favourite bands

NightProwler
November 16th 2013



6322 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I should check this out. TMOF is amazing, and Pedestrian Verse is one of the great of 2013. Def one of the best and most charming indie-rock bands out there.

Digging: Neil Young - American Stars 'N Bars

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
November 16th 2013



7314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's pretty primitive, the progression from this to The Midnight Organ Fight is incredible, but it's got some bright moments. 'Be Less Rude' is a lovely little song, and they've been revisiting 'Music Now' on their current tour.

NightProwler
November 16th 2013



6322 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cool. I don't think this will be amazing or anything short of, but just for the few good songs it has on it, since I already like that bands this much. Oh, and great review, btw!

InfamousGrouse
November 16th 2013



3184 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

check Mixed Drinks instead

Digging: Jackson C. Frank - Jackson C. Frank

NightProwler
November 16th 2013



6322 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Gonna check both, obviously ;)



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy