It’d be easy to scan the tracklisting of Frightened Rabbit’s latest record and assume things are about to become all doom and gloom. For the most part, that’s not too far from the mark. After all, with an opening offering as dark as ‘Death Dream’ – with its ominous piano opening and lyrical subject matter - it’d be all too simple to see ‘Painting of a Panic Attack’ as a morose fifth chapter in the band’s career.
This is, however, a much more multi-facted record. ‘Get Out’ introduces itself with a brighter assertiveness, ‘I Wish I Was Sober’ is more a warm confessional than a defeatist statement. ‘Woke Up Hurting’, with its choral choruses, bears an uplifting heart. For every darker corner that the music seems to inhabit, the band manage to shine a light of positivity.
Throughout the record, the presence of The National’s Aaron Dessner can be felt through its bold instrumentation, while frontman Scott Hutchison once again steers his band in the sombre yet reflective direction that they’ve managed to navigate so well before. This album may declare itself a painting – and an intense one, at that - but there’s a much bigger picture to see here.