Album: Frightened Rabbit, Pedestrian Verse (Atlantic)
Sunday 03 February 2013
Amid all the futile, cyclical chatter about rock's death/rebirth, Frightened Rabbit have done well to stay out of the conversation. Never the "next big thing" nor the latest casualty of hype, the Scottish band have accrued a cult following for their mix of anthemic bluster and social miserabilism – their reward a major label contract for this, album four.
And what of it? Paradoxically, it's both their most commercial and subversive release yet. On the one hand, the hooks are more uplifting than ever; on the other, the lyrics plumb new depths of grimness.
Take opener "Acts of Man", a yearning ballad coloured by vomit flecks and domestic abuse. Or "State Hospital", a singalong about the social inequity of a woman "born into a grave". Or anti-hymn "Holy", a boppy tirade against the pious on which Scott Hutchison wails, wonderfully, "stop acting so holy – I know I'm full of holes".
Indeed, from the self-mockingly banal title onwards, it confirms them as that rare thing: a band able to combine grandiosity and groundedness. Similar, in fact, to another slow-burn success story with a bearishy tender frontman. Now here's hoping they can also Elbow their way into the mainstream.
film Sex scene trailer sees a shirtless Jamie Dornan turn up the heat
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
- 2 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Rashida Jones speaks out against male-centric porn saying 'women should have sex and feel good about it'
Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
Hard line on immigration could cost Tories the election