|Frightened Rabbit - Pedestrian Verses|
|REVIEWS - ALBUM Reviews|
|Written by Sean Marchetto|
|Sunday, 24 February 2013 16:26|
"...the album is nevertheless filled with beautiful tongue turning phrases embedded within melancholic minor key ballads..."
Artist: Frightened Rabbit
Album: Pedestrian Verse
Release Date : February 4, 2013
Reviewed by: Sean Marchetto
Google Map “Selkirk, Scotland”. Located somewhere halfway between Newcastle-upon-Tyne (whose chief moment of pop culture fame is the portrayal of its bleak parking lot structure in Get Carter), and Edinburgh (whose equally bleak hinterlands are made memorable as symptomatic of all that is wrong with Scotland in Trainspotting), the tiny township comes off as a bucolic oasis. There’s a rugby club, a golf course, a high school, a cemetery, and of course, Frightened Rabbit, currently one of Scotland’s most in demand exports.
Despite these somewhat idyllic surroundings, Frightened Rabbit have developed a reputation as dour and moody, broken-hearted balladeers. Pedestrian Verse is no exception, but the album is nevertheless filled with beautiful tongue turning phrases embedded within melancholic minor key ballads, starting with the somber “Acts of Man” where “a knight in shitty armor rips a drunk right out of her dress” and “one man tears into another, hides a cowards heart inside his lion’s chest”. Dark deeds to kick off an album full of characters harbouring secrets “smothered underneath paving stones”. Things rarely reach the upbeat heights of “Old Ol’Fashioned” from The Midnight Organ Fight, but lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Scott Hutchison, with help for the first time from the rest of his bandmates, engages in some brilliantly lyrical songwriting.
Pedestrian Verse is starkly drawn, a place where “December's traditions suck the last of summer from our cheeks/Draws the curtains, strips the trees” and and decorated with washed out bridges, death marches, backyard skulls, and oil slicks that double as an image of self-loathing “All the dark words pouring from my throat/Sound like an oil slick coating the wings we've grown/. . . I've got a voice like a gutter in a toxic storm”. Even relationships seem desolate, confined to empty houses where “In so-called living rooms, Scottish pastimes come to roost/Love's labor's stain a linen sheet”.
And yet, all of this despondency is captivating. Crestfallen choruses change tempo to resound and finish off with a fiery resiliency capable of warming the heart and ears of listeners. While they’ve still yet to write the anthem that many fans and critics anticipate from them, Pedestrian Verses finds Frightened Rabbit inching ever closer.
1. Acts of Man
2. Backyard Skulls
4. The Woodpile
5. Late March, Death March
6. Housing (in)
7. Dead Now
8. State Hospital
9. Nitrous Gas
10. Housing (out)
11. The Oil Slick
Check out our interview with Frightened Rabbit's Scott Hutchison!