If were to peel back the decadent layers of pop and drama of a typical Mumford and Sons song, to be left with only the raw, unflinching basics of its inner most rhythms you might come close to describing the sound of Frightened Rabbit. But not quite.
There’s something unique about this Scottish 5 piece; something more moody, more gripping, more earnest and more mysterious – breaking the mould of typical British indie/folk/grunge/bearded/pop rock (or whatever you call it) artists….
The latest album Pedestrian Verse is a deadly mix of stirring bass from Billy Kennedy, guitars that subtly texture verses one minute then crash and light up angrily the next provided by Andy Monaghan and Gordon Skene (who also throws keys into the shimmering mix), following the triumphant drumming of Grant Hutchinson that builds, and builds and builds with every song – and when mixed with the tortured yet somehow apathetic vocals of Scott Hutchinson, creating devastating emotional climaxes.
In 2011 front man Scott Hutchinson told “Clash” music magazine that Rabbit were “experimenting with minor keys, which is actually new for us,” in regards to the creation of Pedestrian Verse – an experiment which has paid off for the group who since moving to major label Atlantic Records have also shifted song writing responsibilities to all members of the group, a bold move for a band 4 albums deep into their musical career who by now have created a successful formula.
This self-driven challenge shows how Frightened Rabbit have matured; the depth and layers in songs like “The Woodpile” and “Dead Now” give listeners a chance to warm to the new experimental and enriched sounds offered on Pedestrian Verse, while still sharing the familiar themes of romance and melancholy loyal fans have come to love.
If you like the way your ears feel when listening to Damien Rice, Nick Cave, Boy and Bear, Mumford and Sons or Fleet Foxes then you should enjoy Frightened Rabbit.
You can catch Frightened Rabbit in Australia this March playing at the nation-wide Groovin the Moo festivals (go to gmt.net.au for more info)and playing a smattering of East Coast sideshows in:
Melbourne (cornerhotel.com/) and
And Brisbane (http://www.thezoo.com.au/)