Frightened Rabbit - The Midnight Organ Fight (4 stars)

Frightened Rabbit

(FatCat Records)


Graduating from underground heroes to a mainstream proposition often, unfortunately, requires a little softening around the edges. No signs of this where Frightened Rabbit are concerned, however. While the Glasgow-based foursome have been kicking up a stir Stateside since folky indie pop debut Sing the Greys was released to critical acclaim last year, their sophomore effort features even grittier, blackly comic songwriting than ever before.

Hollered, heartbreak-driven vocals collide with clattering rhythms, plunked pianos, accordions, horns, thundering riffs and smart, off-kilter lyrics stripped back and unbearably raw at times as they tell tales of intoxicated sexual encounters, painfully falling in and out of love and the occasional oddity plucked from deep within singer Scott Hutchison’s magnificently warped mind. It’s epic and anthemic stuff boasting searing melodies that creep into your consciousness from first listen and bombastic choruses which explode out of nowhere while still maintaining that typically Frightened Rabbit lo-fi feel.

Reminiscent of early REM, Sebadoh and Idlewild The Midnight Organ Fight feels like this incredibly talented act’s coming of age record. From shimmering opener ‘The Modern Leper’ through woozy acoustic ballads and scratchy waltzes to darkly atmospheric finale ‘Who’d You Kill Now?’, each track bristles with brilliance, passion and bleak beauty. An outstanding achievement indeed.

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