Frightened Rabbit – The Winter of Mixed Drinks [Album Review]

by Woody on April 12, 2010

frightened rabbit

Frightened Rabbit emerged in 2006 with Sing The Greys. It was okay, but nothing to get worked up over. So when The Midnight Organ Fight was released in 2008, it barely registered on my radar. Due to the badgering of a friend, I relented and found a dynamic album that converted me into a fan and their set at P4K sealed the deal. The release of The Winter of Mixed Drinks became one of my most anticipated albums of 2010.

While it lacks that “What the hell have I been missing?” moment, it is a fantastic album that displays growth for the Scottish lads. Lead singer Scott Hutchison continues to deliver anthemic tunes without sounding liking a cheesedick. That may not sound impressive, but its the difference between a soft sell and a sales pitch from this guy.

“Skip The Youth” has the makings of a tune that their audiences will sing in union for years to come. The song builds under a cacophony of noise and just when you start getting a little edgy, Hutchison’s voice emerges.

And I’ve been digging that hole tonight
On my knees beneath the moon
All I need is a place to lie
Guess a grave will have to do
Won’t you give me two minutes please
Just let me cover my eyes
All the hammer and scrape
Has been chipping away
At the luster of life

That is a tremendous open as the tune slowly works in backing vocals and cascades into a full anthem rocker with the chorus of: Skip the youth/ It’s aging me too much.

Talk about nailing the brutality of growing up. There were times in my teens and early 20’s where I just felt exasperated and exhausted by the hugeness of it all – like I was moving at 5 MPH while the rest of the world was at 100MPH. Scott Hutchison just wrapped up that feeling in a spine-tingling 6 minute tune.

The Winter of Mixed Drinks is a great LP. It lacks the personal feel and emotion of Midnight Organ, which followed a breakup for Hutchison, but as long as he and crew deliver earnest performances and genuine lyrics, I am on board.

I recently caught them at the Paste Magazine party at SxSW. The lads were having some technical issues setting up, but instead of belly-aching or pitching a fit, they took the hand that was dealt and turned it into a partial acoustic set. It was one of my most memorable moments of the week.

Video: Frightened Rabbit – Swim Until You Can’t Sing Land (via WOXY)

Frightened Rabbit – “Swim Until You Can’t See Land” – WOXY Lounge SXSW from WOXY on Vimeo.

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