Frightened Rabbit Sing the Greys

[FatCat; 2007]

Rating: 2.5/5

Styles: misery pop, Glasgow, grey
Others: Belle and Sebastian, The Walkmen

Today at the Tiny Mix Tapes Zoological research labs, we’ll be taking a look at Scotland’s Frightened Rabbit! Try and keep in groups of two, and if you care to avoid having to listen to their entire repertoire of introspective malaise prose, then refrain from tapping on their cage please. Remember, here at Tiny Mix Tapes we look out for your best interests.

I’d like to direct your attention toward a few identifying marks: the chunky wool sweater used as protection against Glasgow winters; the uneven stubble known to attract the Inebriated Northern Waif; the shy, mop hair strategically distributed across the face for no discernible reason. In their natural habitat, Frightened Rabbit spend their days honing the vocal signatures of misery pop. If you ever hear atonal whines and sighed whimpers of melody, you know you are but steps away from the floppy ears of repressed Scottish misery! But it’s not inconceivable that their twitching faces have been known to develop gems of sincerity. Underneath all their bellyached cries is an animal with inherent talent for atmospheric ferocity, who thrashes with the pop exuberance of stuttering reverb buzz and icicle-drenched cymbals. Sometimes in more intimate moments they will drop in to the shady grasses of meditative verse and acoustic thumps, then wrestle with pop's linearity, responding with the layered intensity of post rock.

But here in our research wing at Tiny Mix Tapes, this doesn’t exactly compute. Frightened Rabbit override any vibrant composition they may have by raising dreariness to a level of high distinction, as they attempt to create the most realistic melodic depictions of 'grey.' The sniffled-out titles “The Greys” and “Yawn” are enough to describe the shuffling placidity of this overcast pop trio. While they flirt with nuanced song structure, subtle intelligence is only a fraction of this lovelorn and torpid Rabbit.

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