They say misery loves company. So if you find yourself sad and alone, well, the fellas from Scotland who make up Frightened Rabbit will gladly put the proverbial arm around your shoulder with their fourth album, Pedestrian Verse. Of course, the other arm will be holding a pint and encouraging you to down just one more, come on, just one more, just one. . . .
With themes revolving around atheism, alcoholism, and no-girlfriendism, there’s plenty of dismay to be had. While their last album, The Winter of Mixed Drinks, not only had an awesome title, it was also said to be inspired by a fierce break-up of lead-singer/songwriter Scott Hutchison, yet its varied range of tone, beat and mood suggests a guy not too busted up by the bust-up.
On Pedestrian Verse, however, the gloom carries in Scott’s voice through every song. A few tracks, like ‘Acts of Man’ or ‘Snow Still Melting’, reach for mainstream-single status, but the haunting mood is still there. A mood of loss and sorrow. Of embracing the pain. Of nourishing the growth of hangovers. Of swearing in church and challenging religion.
‘The Woodpile’ is a stand-out, with the most head-bopping, toe-tapping sound; however, the song is still about his body and soul as an abandoned building and the desperate desire for a little bright speck of light from the lady missing from his life.
I’ve flipped back and forth through my notes searching for that alternate, that new view of the album, but I just come back across tracks like ‘Nitrous Gas’. A soulful, slow song about sadness and a hope you’ll come along to keep his misery company; otherwise, you should just pass the nitrous gas as that’s the only way out.
The band’s sound is solid, the album is well-produced, and there is definitely passion and power in Scott’s voice, but there is no denying the message of life’s challenges and losses.
As for you, make sure you’re in the proper frame of mind to enjoy this sullen song set, otherwise fix yourself a Winter Mixed Drink instead, and tell yourself everything’s going to be all right.