In anticipation of their forthcoming album, The Winter of Mixed Drinks, I wanted to do a little ‘research’ and get to know Frightened Rabbit a little better. I elected to work backwards, starting with 2008’s Midnight Organ Fight. After about 4-5 listens through, the record really took off for me- I was hooked. Well, come to find out it was a big hit of 2008, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but I was, and pleasantly so. The album is perhaps the most perfect “break up album” I’ve heard in my handful of years listening to music (second place being Transatlanticism, For Emma… third, and Lifted:… in fourth, if I had to rank them). They open with ‘The Modern Leper‘, which is a decent sample of the album.
The whole thing is really sad, but you don’t notice it the first few listens through, because it’s not the type of music you’d expect sad people to make. In some places, it’s almost frantic, but in others like ‘The Twist’, ‘Old Old Fashioned’, and ‘Heads Roll Off’, the pacing is entirely wrong. Wrong in the sense of it sounding more well-founded than forlorn. It’s not until the twilight tracks of the album near the close that you have the pay the piper: ‘My Backwards Walk’, ‘Keep Yourself Warm‘, and the emotionally draining ‘Poke’ really drive home the message. Once you appreciate the gravity of what’s happened, the context of the earlier songs makes a little bit more sense, and the album works a little better as a whole.
However, Winter is a departure from that entire vein. The new album is predicated on a pretty funny idea, as frontman Scott Hutchinson explains, “I was becoming more and more interested in the idea of a rejection of the habits and beha
Additionally, the music calendar has been updated a bunch since I viour most people see as normal, and in turn embracing a certain madness. It’s about losing your mind in order to reset the mind and the body. Forget what’s gone before and wash it out.” It really makes sense then that this new record is the logical next step after the Midnight Organ Fight. The song the quote is in direct reference to is ‘Swim, Until You Can’t See Land‘, which is a great track, especially keeping in mind the idea behind it. I can’t say that as a whole the album has grown on me as much as its predecessor did, and if it ever does, it certainly won’t be as fast, but who cares: Frightened Rabbit is a damn good act, and well worth your time.
last mentioned it.