Frightened Rabbit - Pedestrian Verse

It leaves their back catalogue looking like a long prologue.

Label: Atlantic

Rating: 7

Frightened Rabbit sit on the cusp of greatness. Their uncanny ability to blend infectious hooks and soaring, sing-along choruses with an introverted appeal has been at the foundation to their previous three albums and has them at the doorstep of the lesser-known musical dilemma of the difficult fourth album. Their response is ‘Pedestrian Verse’, a bold, complex dissection of the band’s melancholy strengths which leaves their back catalogue looking like a long prologue.

It breaks from the Selkirk band’s previous work by indulging fully in the morose gloom their work has always been tinged with. The dark, lyrical content thinly veiled by major keys and upbeat melodies before has now taken full hold and infected the whole sound. This is not to say the band have altogether abandoned their ability to create uplifting music - it retains the foot-stomping aura of instant attraction the band are so regularly prolific with - but the atmosphere is certainly more sombre. And it works.

Between critiques of religion, narratives on impending death and futile life and shards of scathing social commentary, the album represents a growing maturity and aptitude as they fully grasp when less is more. And when more is more, they still turn it on. Frightened Rabbit have always seemed comfortable in their music - an attribute which makes it so accessible - now, we see a new-found confidence as they step out their comfort zone for a deeply personal album.