Scott Hutchison loves self-deprecation. It’s littered all over his second album as Frightened Rabbit, 2008’s ‘The Midnight Organ Fight’. “You must be a masochist to love a modern leper, on his last leg,” he sings on the album’s opener, and the lyrics don’t get much more hopeful from there onwards. What ‘The Midnight Organ Fight’ does provide, though, is a soundtrack to sing and drink along to in the throes of a gutting heartache, and in its ten years of existence, it’s blossomed into one of the great breakup records of all time.
The full-length hurries between the varying emotional states during and after a breakup; on ‘The Twist’ he longs for a cold, emotionless hookup (“Twist and whisper the wrong name, I don’t care and nor do my ears”) while ‘I Feel Better’ wrestles with the idea of moving on, just to be thrown back again (“I’ll stow away my greys in a padlocked case in a padlocked room / Only to be released when I sing all the songs I wrote about you / This is the last one I’ll do.”)
As if buckling under the pressure of his own torment, it’s an album that just gets more intense and vital across its length. ‘My Backwards Walk’ handles things equally painfully (“I’m working on erasing you, I just don’t have the proper tools / I get hammered, forget that you exist, there’s no way I’m forgetting this”) and humorously (“You’re the shit and I’m knee deep in it), while the perfect, anthemic ‘Keep Yourself Warm’ takes back the sentiment of ‘The Twist’, insisting that it takes more than a bedfellow to gain that much-needed warmth.
It still remains unmatched for its sheer catharsis.
‘The Midnight Organ Fight’ has been followed in the decade since its release by three increasingly polished but still bitingly tough full-lengths from Frightened Rabbit, but it still remains unmatched for its sheer catharsis. Plus, it’s not all that bad for an overwhelming, drunken singalong either, as will be proved on the 10th anniversary tour the band are set to take the album out on this spring. Its impact not dimmed one jot across the last decade, ‘The Midnight Organ Fight’ remains the perfect companion to wallow with.
For all the rest of DIY’s Hall of Fame coverage, including an interview with the band's Scott Hutchison about the legacy of the album, head here.
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Proceeds from the show in Brooklyn went towards the Scott Hutchison Fund, a mental health charity set up by Hutchison’s family.