Frightened Rabbit "Painting Of A Panic Attack"
Don’t put on a record from Frightened Rabbit if you’re looking to celebrate a good time. However, if wallowing and catharsis are more your style, Painting of a Panic Attack is a great place to start. The album begins with a retelling of a bad dream. Actually, it’s a terrifying dream. Frightened Rabbit front man Scott Hutchison helps us feel the painful realization that though good times are plentiful, it’s nearly impossible to completely avoid the other edge of that sword.
Painting of a Panic Attack is produced by Aaron Dessner (The National) and his insightful touch is readily apparent. Having existed in a very well-defined musical world for so long, Frightened Rabbit have taken a few steps in new, seemingly opposite directions in their songwriting. Some musical elements have been added to their arsenal – drum machines, synthesizers – while others been eliminated – noisy, drawn out guitar solos and singalong fadeouts.
In the time since Frightened Rabbit released their last album, Pedestrian Verse, many things have changed. Gordon Skene left the band due to “differing opinions” while touring guitarist Simon Liddell became a permanent member. Scott released a solo album under the moniker Owl John and moved from Scotland to California. “The perfect place may never exist. The perfect time may be years and years away… But I still want to be here,” sings Hutchison, detailing his love/hate relationship to his adopted home – Los Angeles.
It’s those contrasting feelings that make Painting of a Panic Attack so memorable and so relatable. Light doesn’t exist without dark. Joy doesn’t exist without sadness. You can’t get up until you’ve been knocked down. Frightened Rabbit remind us that, in our pain, we’re not alone.