Frightened Rabbit - The Winter Of Mixed Drinks
Craig Broad 08/02/2010
Frightened Rabbits last full length album, 'The Midnight Organ Fight' was well received by critics and fans alike with myself personally thinking it was a touch of genius, blending indie, pop and folk sensibilities with a lyrical content that was emotional and relate-able whilst still remaining slightly tongue in cheek. It is this that makes the Scottish five piece almost a shoe-in for the break through British band to the start of the new decade, especially when you consider the pure tripe that we had to suffer during the tale end of the last one. Is 'The Winter Of Mixed Drinks' an album that is going to help Frightened Rabbit break through the ice and into the media eye or will it push down upon them, causing them to sink faster than the Titanic post iceberg?
'The Winter Of Mixed Drinks' is much like its predecessor in many ways, vocal tone wise, Hutchinson still sounds very Biffy Clyro like but with more emotion, this is something I admired before and it is something that still heavily works on this album. Opener 'Things' is sonically challenging with feedback creating the background of the track as a snare roll builds up accompanied by a bright guitar melody as Hutchinson repeats 'I never need these things'. Lead single and one of the stand-out tracks 'Swim Until You Can't See Land' is bright, poppy and media friendly with its sing-a-long chorus, which given time, will stick into your skull so comfortably you'll be unsure as to how you ever lived without it. 'Skip The Youth' annoying builds up with feedback and drums for over a minute before it finally settles on a sunny guitar melody that will make you smile every time. The songs charm comes in the form of the backing vocals which in certain sections, especially the chorus, really add to the atmosphere of the song, making it feel more emotional as the drums build to a pop frenzy. My favourite track on the album however, has to be 'Nothing Like You', more upbeat and indie than Frightened Rabbit have ever been, the second single starts off sounding slightly like The Killers but with integrity, never losing speed in its three minute spell. It is easy to see why this is the second song to be released from the album as it really does showcase the band at their best, both different but mainstream at the same time.
It isn't without its negative sides though, both 'The Loneliness & The Scream' and 'Man/Bag Of Sand' come across as pointless tracks that you would happily skip, especially interlude 'Man/Bag Of Sad' which offers absolutely nothing in terms of sound or invention but on the whole 'The Winter Of Mixed Drunks' is what I, as a fan of the band expected. A more mature well rounded release, more capable of mainstream success than the previous albums but on the whole, is it really as good as 'The Midnight Organ Fight', I'm going to side with no.
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