Frightened Rabbit
Pedestrian Verse


4.0
excellent

Review

by teddycutler1 USER (11 Reviews)
March 19th, 2013 | 5 replies


Release Date: 02/04/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Combines the bitterly personal and the fist-pumpingly anthemic in one beautifully maudlin Glaswegian package.

It is hard to believe that more than two years have passed since Frightened Rabbit’s last album, ‘The Winter of Mixed Drinks’, itself a slightly disappointing effort in light of the brilliance of much that came before it. Perhaps some of that disappointment can be put down to lead singer Scott Hutchison’s newfound happiness, leading to a departure from the bitterly beautiful lyricism of ‘Midnight Organ Fight’, the band’s sophomore work. Now Hutchison and his band mates have finally returned, bringing with them a welcome dose of the old misery as well as a set of songs that will surely number amongst the year’s best by its end.
Frightened Rabbit’s main strength has always been the ability to meld deeply personal and emotionally honest lyrics with rollicking melodies. ‘Late March, Death March’ fairly clatters along with the vigour of a Highland steam train, propelled not by coal but an insistent rhythm section, and yet Hutchison’s plaintive voice keeps its anthemic desires just about in check. Unlike their contemporaries, Biffy Clyro, Glasvegas et al., the band have retained not only their huge choruses but also their slightly tattered, ramshackle soul. It’s why we fell in love with them in the first place, and nowhere is it better illustrated than on ‘The Woodpile’. This might be the vastest song on the album, but lines like ‘Come find me now, we’ll hide out, we’ll speak in our secret tongues’ could only have been written by this band and this vocalist.
The album dips slightly upon a move from personal to social commentary. Hutchison’s lyrics have always been heavy-handed- indeed, that is part of their charm- but ‘State Hospital’ is weighed down by clunky rhyming couplets and feels overwrought as a result. A shot of subtlety might have served better here. Nevertheless, the band redeems themselves on ‘Nitrous Gas’, a stunning, mournful ballad which displays their talent for metaphor. If anyone writes a more stunningly simple yet beautiful line this year as ‘If happiness won’t live with me, think I can live with that’ then colour me extremely surprised. (That’s as surprised as I get).
Despite some slow moments in the middle of the album, there is the inescapable sense that this band have rediscovered what made them so special in the first place. ‘Backyard Skulls’ in particular might be the best thing they’ve ever written. Again at its heart is a superb metaphor: these skulls are Hutchison’s former lovers, haunting him from his back garden. It’s a mournful, funny, utterly anthemic song: we can but hope for many more of its ilk in the future.



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user ratings (180)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
Ali CONTRIBUTOR (4)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2013


7427 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Pretty good review again. There are one or two grammatical issues (eg, "the band redeems themselves" should be "the band redeem themselves" or "the band redeems itself."), and the end of the second and third paragraphs seem a little clunky but nothing major. Also Frightened Rabbit aren't Glaswegian, they're from Selkirk and reside in Edinburgh.

I've already made it pretty clear how I feel about this record.

teddycutler1
March 19th 2013


8 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

OK thanks sorry for the mistakes.

ABjordanMM
March 19th 2013


1453 Comments


Good review. Digging this album.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2013


7427 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No need to be sorry, just bear them in mind next time you write something. Like I said, the review's pretty good, especially given it's only your second. You've also started off by reviewing my two favourite records of the year so far, haha.

NightProwler
March 23rd 2013


6602 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review. I'm digging this album myself recently, sounds amazing!

Digging: Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden



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