If you are a fan of Snow Patrol, Death Cab for Cutie and Sigur Ros, then this Scottish five-pack is the next group to make you tingle all over. Frightened Rabbit were in Sydney recently for a gig at the Bondi Beach Hotel, which was free. I almost can’t believe that it was (flick over to MFTV to see Clarence Knight interview them).
Their new CD, The Winter of Mixed Drinks, is an invigorating trail of hits, with particular reference to ‘Nothing Like You’ and ‘Man/Bag Of Sand’. Managed independently by label FatCat Records, Frightened Rabbit have reached over two million views on Myspace. This is the kind of indie-rock that would spark the cigarette lighter in your hand to wave to and fro, and make you sing at the top of your lungs. It’s loud, rhythmic, fun and quirky with fierce choir-like vocals from singer Scott (yes, that’s right), with his pronounced Scottish accent.
There is a lot going on in each of these tracks. I’m kind of amazed at the complexity of the overall sound. Experimenting with stock audio voice-overs, strings, motoring bass and guitar lines, piano melodies and the way Scott Hutchinson throws his voice is nothing short of impressive. You almost half expect a bagpipe to squeak in, as for the most part these songs project the energy of a marching band. The great thing Scott has managed to achieve is to make his voice varied in each track. Massive crescendos are reached, and brought down again with a subtle command that really only crafted composers can achieve.
The up-tempo songs are balanced with the slower-tempo ones, which heave that emotional sorrow only great ballads can. So if you appreciate a balanced, and interesting listen, then The Winter of Mixed Drinks delivers. I highly recommend you pick this up, and stick it in your car, now.