Pedestrian Verse marks the fourth full-length release from the Scottish band Frightened Rabbit and their first on a major label. This time around, they’ve turned it up to 11 and put the self-deprecating lyrics of vocalist Scott Hutchison deeper in the mix. It seems as though he’s gone through another break-up and despite his best efforts to write about something outside of himself, he’s back at what he does best: breakup songs! If you love the side of Frightened Rabbit that has anthems to spare, you are in luck with Pedestrian Verse. The band is taking these new songs on the road and every one of them is suited for a set at your favorite back alley bar or a giant arena.
There are some major changes evident on this record. Aside from moving to a major label, Frightened Rabbit are working with producer Leo Abrahams, who has worked with David Byrne & Brian Eno, Imogen Heap, Paul Simon and Paolo Nutini to name a few. Abrahams has given the band a loose, comfortable avenue to funnel their talents through and the result is an inspiring and intoxicating album.
Getting back to the break-up overtones of the album, this is not the same Scott Hutchison who wrote the blood soaked break-up album, The Midnight Organ Fight, back in 2008. He is not making the same blatant mistakes and missteps as he did when he was a younger man. This time around, instead of forgetting his sorrows in one-night-stands, he’s more reflective and taking more of the blame, but also laughing at his misfortune. For example, he comes right out and calls himself that “d**h**d in the kitchen giving wine to your best girl’s glass” on album opener “Acts of Man”.
When it comes to Frightened Rabbit, most people talk about the swirling U2-like guitars and the relatable sorrow-soaked vocals of Hutchison. However, some of the most dynamic parts of this record come from Scott’s younger brother, Grant, pounding away on the drums. Grant’s creative pounding and snapping make this band the powerhouse it is. This album has allowed him to realize the full potential of his talent in places where his percussion is as sorrowful and aching as his older brother’s vocal delivery.
Cindy Howes (Morning Mix Host)