Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Album Review: Frightened Rabbit's The Midnight Organ Fight

Like many others who look to the Internet to find new music, I found Selkirk, Scotland’s Frightened Rabbit on YouTube. It was a grainy-filmed live version of their song, “My Backward Walk” (more on that song later) with a short intro consisting of The National’s track, “Fake Empire.” I was totally blown away. I had a new band to love.

As luck would have it, Frightened Rabbit was about to release its sophomore album, The Midnight Organ Fight. The band began as a trio but as of the new record is now a four piece. Scott Hutchison is the main songwriter, lead singer, and one of the guitarists. Another guitar player, a keyboard player, and a drummer fill out the band. No bass. However, the musicianship is very high and the music sounds totally full.

Lyrically, Frightened Rabbit writes quirky/clever lyrics—but in a very intelligent way. A lesser songwriter who used leprosy as a metaphor for falling in love (“The Modern Leper”) would come up with something offensive, instead of the compelling track found here. Another standout song on the CD is the aforementioned “My Backwards Walk.” This song’s line, “You’re the sh—t and I’m knee deep in it,” is one of the strangest, but loveliest, lyrics I’ve heard in a long time. Frightened Rabbit also cover some of the other big themes of life—such as religion—in addition to love. “Heads Roll Off” is a really beautiful tune about faith and the belief that death is not the end.

For me, it’s always super exciting to find a new band creating its own brand of compelling music. And Frightened Rabbit certainly fits that category. With two albums complete I certainly hope that the band keeps writing and recording, because the buzz is now building around them in the US and they’re poised to reach the much wider audience they deserve to.

Check out the "My Backwards Walk" with the "Fake Empire" into and "Heads Roll Off" below.


Jessi said...

I stumbled upon your blog while searching for happy for you to have found them. I quickly fell for this band and was lucky enough to see them twice in New York on this tour. Definitely catch them live. It's been my favorite show this year and I go quite often! And for a girl that loves The National, wearing them start with Fake Empire was absolutely amazing at Southpaw.

Now to check out more of your blog...I'm seeing some definite music overlap.


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