Frightened Rabbit – The Winter Of Mixed Drinks (Fat Cat) 01/03/10

March 16, 2010 by  

Frightened Rabbit are still a brooding beast, but are thankfully now back with renewed optimism after their intense (yet thoroughly enjoyable) break-up record, 2008s ‘The Midnight Organ Fight’.

In this, their latest effort ‘The Winter Of Mixed Drinks’, the band have developed an (even more) anthemic, almost Biffy Clyro like sound, yet retain the charming frailty which has previously been an endearing staple to a Frightened Rabbit album. Stadium anthems for the bedroom if you will.

After the slow build opener ‘Things’, the first great track is a perfect example of the stadium/bedroom statement. ‘Swim Until You Can’t See Land’ is a sign of things to come. A simple folk-lite melody full of great hope and aspiration, shared with a band adopting a more optimistic approach which you can’t help but fall in love with. A track that even gets a rare welcome reprise later in ‘Man/Bag of Sand’.

This stadium/bedroom theme works to sterling effect throughout. Proud choruses and thumping melodies are met with strong lyrics dealt with by Scottish lead Scott Hutchinson, to great aplomb.

In parts it’s pure escapism, whether you’re lost in the shoe gaze of ‘Footshooter‘, or jumping up and down to real anthem and stand out track ‘Living In Colour’. The latter, alongside the driving ‘Nothing Like You’ are examples of how much fun escaping with them can be.

There are some records often described as uplifting, and here the adjective couldn‘t be more apt. After their gloomy angst filled last album it was Hutchinson’s conscious decision to inspire, as proven with song title ’Not Miserable’. It’s in fact ironic the said track is a subdued effort compared to most on offer, which is somewhat refreshing, as it alleviates any concern the album could become a cheese fest, the like of which you could associate with a completely intentionally inspirational work.

Although they are garnering recent murmurs and attracting more respectable column inches, The Winter Of Mixed Drinks should by all rights be the album that gives Frightened Rabbit their elusive breakthrough.
Even if they never quite match their contemporaries (Arcade Fire, Maccabees) in success, they have at least produced a polished long player to match them in talent.

[rating:4]


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