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Released: Apr 15, 2008
Genre: Indie rock
Label: Fat Cat
Number Of Tracks: 14
Vocalist/guitarist Scott Hutchison describes the album as being "quite relationshipy" and "a lot more intense" than its predecessor Sing the Greys.
A Midnight Organ Fight
DonTago, on october 03, 2008 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: I don't think there is a better more succinct way to express my feeling for Frightened Rabbit's sophmore album "A Midnight Organ Fight" other than it is probably the most catchiest, emotional, exillerating ride of an album that I have thus experienced during this rollercoaster of a year (2008). Straight out of rainy middle-Scotland, this album conjures sentiments of last years album "Boxer" by The National while also laying out dark brooding sentiments similar to that of Interpol or Brand New. Likewise to these bands, similar ground is tread, such as love that could have been, the follies of religion, social stigmas and of course heartbreak. Admittedly, nothing new as far as this genre of indie folk-infused rock goes, yet somehow this album is able to deliver something fresh and new that is both fun and thought provoking at the same time. From the opening track, you will surely be hooked on the power and viberance these songs contain. Expect big things from Frightened Rabbit in the future. // 10
Lyrics: Firstly, the most admirable thing about the lyrics of Frightened Rabbit is the overtness which Scott Hutchinson sings with his pleasantly-raspy Scottish accent. Having lived there for a long time, it is pleasing to hear a band that is not ashamed to sing with a thick Glasweegian draw. However, more importantly, the lyrics that Hutchinson delivers are superb. From the devisive statements in the opening track "You must be a masochist to love a modern leper/ on his last leg" to the sexually suggestive lyrics "Twist yourself around me/ I need company, I need human heat", you feel that each song is a well crafted poem. Meanwhile, in "Heads Roll Off", Hutchinson comes up with profound thoughts such as "While I'm alive, I'll make tiny changes to earth". I find myself listening to particular tracks over and over and feeling something more different and dynamic with each time around. // 9
Overall Impression: This album is a big step up for Frightened Rabbit. They're previous album "Singing the Greys", although a very well composed album, did receive widespread attention. However, "A Midnight Organ Fight" has the potential to shoot this band into the big leagues. They are presently touring with Death Cab For Cutie on the European leg of their world tour, which is certain to spread the good word of Frightened Rabbit. Though I personally see this album as one of my favourite of 2008 thus far, many may be tired of emotive raw catchiness of this collection of songs which many bands are striving for these days. Yet, the difference in my eyes from other bands in this genre which are held up as "up-and-commers" is that the detached honesty which I feel while listening to this band is unparalleled. Selkirk, Scotland is a far cry from the glitzy glamourfull world bands like Fall Out Boy, Dashboard Confessional, The Kooks or other high profile acts wallow in. As a result, this gives them an edge which is unmatched thus far this year in music. Listening to songs on this album such as "The Twist", "Poke", or "I Feel Better", I just get a sense that this band has their finger on something absolutely missing from MTV and their silly "bands of the week". // 10
A Midnight Organ Fight
whatiaminstead, on december 09, 2008 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Leading in quietly to "The Modern Leper", Frightened Rabbit establishes a very balanced sound that is followed consistently through the rest of the album. Stripped down, bare-bones rock with a couple sonic elements and echoing guitars (FR are very fond of letting high-delay chords close out their songs) produces a very even sound, which makes the album a huge listening pleasure. "The Modern Leper" and "I Feel Better" are very driven, but when the mood comes down for "Good Arms vs Bad Arms", you don't feel like you're missing anything, as there is enough ambiance even through the slowest songs to keep you interested. "Head Rolls Off" is one of the best examples of the band's ability to pack force and passion into an otherwise sleepy, atmospheric song. With this very consistent sound, FR doesn't pull anything out of their hat that will especially pique your interest in the middle of listening, but I for one much appreciate how wonderful it is to get lost in this album's sleepy, introspective tone (Having trouble falling asleep? Put "Floating On The Forth" on repeat and that'll take care of things quick). // 9
Lyrics: The albums is, indeed, "very relationshipy". The first four songs run the whole gauntlet of human emotions, from letting your guard down to true love ("The Modern Leper"), getting over a broken heart ("I Feel Better"), giving in to jealousy ("Good Arms... ") and on-the-rocks bedroom scenes ("Fast Blood"). This album also has some of the best one-liners I've ever heard in music. Lines like "I'm armed with the past and the will and a brick/I might not want you back but I want to kill him" ("Good Arms... ") make the songs very real and relatable. "Head Rolls Off" does a great job of softening the idea of death, saying "It's not morbid at all, just that nature's had enough of you". One of the most interesting lyrical examples on the album, in my opinion, has to be "Keep Yourself Warm", beautifully written and laced with a lot of emotion. Now, I personally am not one to appreciate gratuitous language and crudity in music. "Keep Yourself Warm", however, addresses cheap dance-club sex and it's consequences in a very raw and heart-wrenching way. Given the cheapness and destructive nature of the subject, lines like "It takes more than f--king someone you don't know to keep warm" seem almost indispensable; there's just no other way to say it. At times, the frankness and openness of the lyrics can seem a little cliche or out-there (I'm still trying to decipher the line "give me the cloth and I'll wipe my face" off "Head Rolls Off"), but this album relies on songs written to relate, and it does a great job. // 9
Overall Impression: I listened to this album twice through within a week of getting it, and it immediately shot into my Top-10 favorite albums. Sonicly charged, even-handed, and wonderfully relatable, "The Midnight Organ Fight" is a truly human endeavor from a brilliant and imaginative group of musicians. It's been a long time since I've listened to an album that has such a consistent sound while managing to give each song a life of it's own. Sad, funny, exciting, titillating, hopeful... you find everything in this album. Beautifully crafted. // 10
A Midnight Organ Fight
easter-glow, on june 05, 2009 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Frightened Rabbit are the band created around Scott Hutchison's solo project of the same name. After starting out with just a few songs and an acoustic guitar, Scott roped his brother Grant in for drum duties, later followed by Billy Kennedy and Andy Monaghan. It is easy to see that this is a record that has been written entirely on guitars, but the textures added by the keyboards, drums, backing vocals and whatever else make for very detailed listening. There are even moments when a full orchestra takes over for a sort of reprise of key melodies from the album, which is an original idea for an album of this genre. Yes it falls under the indie rock umbrella, but there's no denying that the overall sound is fresh. The driving twang of Telecasters on the more upbeat songs contrasts with the delicate folk-style finger picking of songs like 'Poke', leading the listening on a journey through aggressive clean guitar territory that is rarely heard outside of good old country playing. As for stand-out guitar parts, the sliding lead guitar lick on the album's opening track 'The Modern Leper' is a gem. // 8
Lyrics: The real genius in this album is to be found in its lyrics. Granted, the topics are fairly old-hat (love, self loathing, nightlife et cetera) but the approach Scott Hutchison takes when tackling these subjects is truly unique. Within one song he can employ clever metaphors of love-making; "It's a choo-choo train, a rocket launch", juxtaposed with brilliantly forthright claims; "It takes more than f--king someone you don't know to keep yourself warm" and even still have room for an optimistic mantra; "I'll get my hole, I'll get my hole!"
Other musings of the transience of life (We'll all be the same way; just dust in someone's eyes cryed down the drain) add to the diverse themes which Scott covers, but even he has confessed that this is, in essence, 'a break-up album'.
As a vocalist, Scott does his job perfectly. I wouldn't cast him in an opera or anything, but within the FR membrane, he is fantastic. Purposely exaggerated off-key singing grabs the attention in the third verse of 'Old Old Fashioned', while the haunting falsetto of 'Poke' and 'Floating in the Forth' solidify his singing capabilities. // 10
Overall Impression: I first heard of FR via an article found with StumbleUpon. I try to sample every band I come across, but it is rare that a band would stand out as much as these guys did. Within, FR were among my favourite bands, and I quickly realised I have a major thing for that Scottish twang in a singing voice (read: Biffy Clyro, Succioperro). If you are reading this and have not heard this band, I highly recommend you check them out, even just to pick up some lyrical ideas. My favourite tracks, without listing all of them, would be 'Heads Roll Off', 'Who'd You Kill Now' and 'Poke'. FR won't be everyone's cup of tea, but fans of modern indie, 80s guitar pop and anyone open-minded should get a kick out of 'The Midnight Organ Fight'. As a last word, and perhaps a summation, I love this album and still listen to it after 4 months, you ought to do likewise. // 9