Frightened Rabbit - Pedestrian Verse
Considering this is their fourth album and your friends, family and workmates most likely don't know who they are, Frightened Rabbit aren't probably helping themselves by entitling their latest work Pedestrian Verse. The self-flagellating moniker isn't exactly a call to action - but then again, when in-store browsing is a dying pastime, what's in a title these days? Those who do give the Selkirk five-piece's return a listen will be surprised to learn that the songs, while far from life-altering, are a step above pedestrian. Just like another Scottish ensemble before them, those Biffy Clyro lads you may have heard of, Frightened Rabbit are slowly but surely establishing a nice line in blistering anthemics that may take them above and beyond their current status as cult concern and actually please the big crowds.
Lead single 'The Woodpile' is a case in point: it's as good a three-and-a-half-minute melodic rock song as I've heard all year but, as we're not even in February, let's throw in last year too. Scott Hutchison's vocal highlights both his Scots twang and willingness to let emotion guide the song, declaring "I'm trapped in a collapsing building" before imploring a saviour to "come back to my corner, spent too long alone tonight"; its main aim simply is to rouse and, thanks to a blazing reach-for-the-sky chorus, mission is definitely accomplished. The song is the core of the record but the band build a sturdy record around this crossover moment where big guitars, big emotional gestures and considered, sometimes poetic (but rarely pedestrian) verse collide to create their strongest album so far and one that is likely to boost them a few places up the festival schedule closer to a headline slot.