Thursday, April 27, 2017

Band Review: Frightened Rabbit

Frightened Rabbit was the very first band recommendation I wrote down, before I was even tracking bands in a spreadsheet. They were recommended by Daniel Pearson, whom I reviewed back in March 2013.

Obviously it's been a long time. One reason for the delay is that I saw they had a lot of material, and it was going to take a lot of time to listen to them all, even though the preliminary listening seemed promising. In scheduling reviews, I have not been great about remembering to include recommended bands along with the bands who follow me, but I would work in others and still not get to them.

I give this unnecessary prelude because while I believe Frightened Rabbit is a good band, I did not enjoy them. The extra hours spent listening made that worse. If I had only listened to two albums' worth I would feel better, but that probably shouldn't be held against them.

There were two factors that combined with the length. One is that it felt like a lot of unnecessary profanity. That doesn't bother everyone. It doesn't always bother me as much as it did this time. Actually, it felt appropriate for a Scottish band, except that I associate Scottish profanity with rowdy good times. Frightened Rabbit is so gloomy.

Again, that doesn't always bother me, but here it was hour after hour of gloom, sometimes livened up by unnecessary profanity.

It didn't have to be this way. Among their songs, "The Woodpile" especially shows their ability to build in emotion and drama. They can do that. They have a pub band sound - which can be used for good times - and they were doing it for years before Mumford and Sons.

Therefore, regardless of my frustration, it is completely reasonable to check out Frightened Rabbit. I do recommend doing it in short bursts, especially if you're experiencing down times in your own life.

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