By Mike O'Connor
Released February 1st, 2013 - Warner Music UK
Since forming in 2003, Scottish five-piece band Frightened Rabbit have worked hard to establish themselves as a credible bunch of alt-folk rockers.
Despite growing a dedicated fan base in a genre that has exploded in popularity thanks to bands such as Mumford and Sons, Frightened Rabbit have always existed on the periphery; tipped for big things but never really cracking it. At the same time they've not been shy to express their indifference to fame, tweeting in 2012 that they could ‘take it or leave it'.
But whether they like it or not, 2013 is shaping into a big year for the band. Pedestrian Verse, their 4th album and first major label release, has already shot up to the top 10 of the UK album charts following it's release this month.
On first listen, Verse instantly sounds familiar, with Scott Hutchison's distinctive lyrics framed by a soundtrack that has evolved and matured since 2010's Winter of Mixed Drinks.
One of the strengths of Hutchison's songwriting has always been his ability to be brilliantly self-depreciating, never afraid to ridicule his own boozing and womanising ways. On album opener Acts of Man it would seem little has changed, as he declares in the opening lines "I'm that dickhead in the kitchen, giving wine to your best girl's glass".
However on album highlight The Woodpile, a rousing ode to finding peace away from a debauched lifestyle, it seems that even the band realize that the lifestyle they sung about when they formed 10 years ago has changed considerably.
Obviously a shift to a major label has helped with the band's sound, which is fuller and more varied. But it's the bands ability to mock their own considerable talents that makes Verses such a delight. Even their back catalog isn't safe, as Hutchinson takes a swipe at their last album on the albums closer Oil Slick: "Took to the ocean, in a boat this time," "only an idiot would swim through the shit I write."
4 / 5