I've been a fan of Frightened Rabbit for a couple of years and I say without hesitation that I am impressed with their consistency. Their last two albums have been a great continuation of their early stuff. To me, something is gained and lossed in the improved production values in their more recent work. The songs are more expansive--"anthemic" is the word most-often used--and they teem with Hutchinson's own brand of dour (but hopeful) sentiments. But, the earlier work is more personal, more intimate. Nonetheless, most of these songs are solid; you will find yourself coming back to them. And, there is minimal filler.
The surging "Late March, Death March" is a real standout, while the short and punchy separated songs of "Housing (In)' and "Housing (out)" work well. In "December Traditions" shows that the bands sojourn recording the album in the wonders of the Welsh countryside has somehow tightened them and achieved a level of focus which has sometimes been absent. It sweeps along with a great lyric and ends with the full gamut of the bands voices. For those Frabbits fans that like the bands more distinctively Scottish side the deluxe edition is a must with three extra songs. The gentle acoustics of the stunning "If you were me" harks back to the Midnight Organ Fight and is a song of shattering heartbreak; "Snow still melting" is a pounding rock song with a great melody and finally "Escape Route" ends the album with a bang; an intoxicating mix of acoustics and high drama. I'd highly recommend the band to anyone looking for something accessible but a bit off the beaten path.
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