Frightened Rabbit: Pedestrian Verse (Atlantic/Canvasback) | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Sunday, December 15th, 2019  

Frightened Rabbit

Pedestrian Verse

Atlantic/Canvasback

Feb 08, 2013 Issue #44 - Best of 2012 - Grimes Bookmark and Share


Frightened Rabbit's major label full-length debut is a triumphant album. It expertly expands on their previous work with a big, muscular series of anthems that investigate faith, masculinity, and Scottish identity while sharpening their increasingly identifiable brand of wry, thoughtful songwriting. Producer Leo Abrahams (Brian Eno, David Byrne, Grace Jones) manages to maintain much of the ragged charm of 2008's The Midnight Organ Fight and 2010's The Winter of Mixed Drinks (both produced by Peter Katis) while pushing these songs into new sonic territory. The arrangements are more ambitious, with giant choruses tailor-made for crowds to scream along. Each track moves through a range of tones and moods. It's a truly dynamic set of recordings.

Perhaps most impressively, Scott Hutchison's lyrics have never been more illuminating or expressive. These are meaty, corporeal songs that address weighty subject matter with a deft touch. Nearly every bit of bravado is tempered by humility or humble self-doubt. "I'm here, I'm here/Not heroic but I try," says the narrator in the opener, "Acts of Man." Even the track order, a rapidly disappearing art form in the Internet age, is outstanding. The A-side is one single after another, growing in intensity; "Holy" and "The Woodpile" are straight-up jams that will absolutely delight existing fans and bring more into the fold. The B-side could stand on its own as an EP, bookended by "Housing (In)" and "Housing (Out)," but centered around the fantastic "Dead Now" and "State Hospital." This seemingly lopsided structure produces the effect of an album within the album, where, like the rings of a tree, you can see a bit of where the band came from and get a taste of the amazing potential of their future. And, by the sound of Pedestrian Verse, Frightened Rabbit's future is very, very bright. (www.frightenedrabbit.com)

Author rating: 8/10

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