Frightened Rabbit – The Winter Of Mixed Drinks
Frightened Rabbit is a five piece outfit hailing from Glasgow, Scotland that is slowly but surely gaining momentum in the music world with the release of their third album The Winter Of Mixed Drinks.
Their sound comparable to a mixture of Snow Patrol and Doves but more grounded and organic sounding in nature has been winning over people left right and centre and seeing the band given slots on major festivals worldwide (Laneway, All Tomorrows Parties, Glastonbury, Splendour In The Grass and Lollapalooza)
The album itself is a fantastic beast, both epic and subdued, full of potent and melancholy lyrics in songs that range from the epic to the sparse, the jangly toe-tapping to rocky grunge. The fact that singer Scott Hutchinson’s thick Scottish accent is clearly evident in his singing voice adds to the appeal and intrigue as despite some lines becoming harder to understand, the accent brings a new depth and makes songs more interesting.
On an album full of highlights, songs that stand out are good songs indeed. First single Swim Until You Can’t See Land stands out with its bright jangliness working perfectly with Hutchinson’s thick accent, the subtle build of the song is superb as is the intriguing blend of synth and vocals in the brilliant albeit short bridge. The Loneliness And The Scream starts off sounding like older Snow Patrol (before they had a single on Gray’s Anatomy ) though mix things up with hand claps, and with the imploring, saddening lyrics building to the chorus of “And the loneliness/Oh the loneliness/And the scream to prove to everyone/That I exist”, it’s a great song in itself. Then it reaches a new level as it climaxes and utilises a kind of epic Scottish jig sound making the listener imagine the band are playing on a hill in the middle of the Scottish moors.
Though it’s Living In Colour that takes the cake as best track. The bouncy, pounding track with unison singing introduction does nothing but bring a smile to your face, the music envelops the listener and can’t help but drag them along for the ride. The addition of strings at the end helps to add extra depth to such a brilliant little song.
These aren’t the only highlights to be sure; the Gregorian style chanting in The Wrestle and the use of what sounds like an old film projector in Learned Your Name add subtle depth to songs. The more straight forward rock of Nothing Like You and the almost tribal build up of Not Miserable really get the blood pumping.
A slight annoyance is the jarring effects of the jangled mess of piano and wheeze of accordion during Fun Stuff, though this is quickly seen to with the addition of more instruments to cover and actually build into a nice sound. However this nuisance is does little to harm this brilliant album.