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Frightened Rabbit - I Feel Better/The Twist

  by Sophie Hall

published: 9 / 9 / 2008

Frightened Rabbit - I Feel Better/The Twist
Label: Fat Cat Records
Format: 7"


Staggering and thoroughly innovative harmonic folk pop on new single from Scottish trio, Frightened Rabbit

To start off this Frightened Rabbit review - I have decided for some god awful bewildering reason that I am going to start writing about the Kooks. Now - compared to Frightened Rabbit…surely the Kooks should be ultimately - incomparable. Why am I letting these morons grace this page? As when you think of the Kooks…you think straw hats…you think generic lyrics, you think insufferable guitar pop and a lead singer that sounds like he’s enjoying multiple strokes every time he opens his mouth. Whereas Frightened Rabbit are undeniably quite beautiful in all textures of their music - with lyrics that make sense. Quite palatable lyrics in fact. And guitar rhythms that carry the dream-like eminence which give this band - and their second album -that step they need to progress from NME-friendly indie mainstream giants to something all the more different. And this is where I bring the Kooks back in. It is quite easy to see one of those ’hip cool new indie bands’ in Frightened Rabbit and to completely dismiss them. Ever since the Arctic Monkeys we appear to have suffered a serious lapse in the content of such bands - who seem to think music is not about four men and their traditional two guitars, one bass, one drum set up and singing about things that they probably mean (Oasis excluded) - but have abandoned these traditions and now seem to think they exist for one purpose only and that is to wear skinny jeans. Sometimes it is difficult, therefore, to pick apart the indie residue which the Arctic Monkeys have left in their Mercury/Brit/Every award invented ever award wake. But once you do this, you can discover bands that carry with them one vital thing that appears to be missing in most of these types of bands. And that is music. The new single from Frightened Rabbit proves this. Two tracks of folk bubble wrapped in trumpets, staggering harmonies and genuinely clever lyrics. They’re essentially a more quaint version of Arcade Fire. But behind this quaintness is a whole storm of innovativeness that you can literally hear firing up subtly, yet gradually behind Scott Hutchison’s elegant vocals. For a three member band (who follow the increasing tradition of bassist-less bands) the two songs are overwrought with layer upon layer of carefully crafted harmonious assembling. 'I Feel Better', for example, is a track which will continue to ascend until it has presumably achieved it’s wish to be an orchestra-sized hurricane - and Scott Hutchison‘s mournful vocals articulates the rush of the music perfectly. (“Now I’m free with parenthesis/I’m not sure what to do with this”) 'The Twist' meanwhile adopts Malcolm Middleton's technique and plays out like a whimsical love note set to music, which has cleverly been ‘twisted’ around self deprecating Scottish wit. (“Let’s pretend I’m attractive/ and then/You won’t mind come twist for a while”). Fat Cat Records are presumably secretly hording some hidden cavern where they unearth all these musical gems from - and have definitely extracted another from the obscure indie crevices. Frightened Rabbit 1, The Kooks 0.

Track Listing:-
1 I Feel Better
2 The Twist

Label Links:-

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live reviews

Hoxton Bar and Kitchen, London,2/10/2008
Frightened Rabbit - Hoxton Bar and Kitchen, London,2/10/2008
At a gig at the Hoxton Bar and Kitchen as part of the Concrete and Glass festival, Anthony Middleton finds Scottish band's Frightened Rabbit's passionate, desperate and often foul mouthed tales of inadequacy having a lot to offer, but largely lost on an unresponsive crowd

digital downloads


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Riverting string-accompanied latest vinyl only single from Scottish indie rock group, Frightened Rabbit
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