Frightened Rabbit - The Midnight Organ Fight (Cover Artwork)

Frightened Rabbit

The Midnight Organ Fight (2008)

Fat Cat

This record is good. It is not the greatest ever made, and it is probably not the best of the year. It breaks no new ground, and is not even the perfection of a particular sound.

But it's really good.

Frightened Rabbit are the kind of indie rock band that Pitchfork likes, with plenty of acoustic-led songs, subtle synths and horn sections that break through Jimmy Eat World-style melodies, a singer who sounds like an energetic version of Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody, the occaisonal country-esque guitar twang and fake drum beat, and lovely backing 'ooh's throughout. Oh, and most of it is about relationships.

It is the kind of record that, on first listen, you think "yeah, that's all right," and then ends up on slowly declining repeat cycles before being replaced a few months later by a band doing something pretty much the same.

Not exactly the same, though, as Scott Hutchinson's distinct Scottish accent is thick and smooth, just like the music, and really makes Frightened Rabbit stand out in a swarm of bands that are mostly coming out of America. It's a welcome change in an often-samey genre that leads me to believe that this particular album will put off its inevitable replacement a bit longer than Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Arcade Fire or Somebody Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin did.

So yes, not the best record of the year, but it may well make the top ten. I honestly cannot fault The Midnight Organ Fight in any way. A sprinkling of different instruments and influences keep the record varied, and while it may occasionally fade into the background, tracks like "Good Arms vs. Bad Arms," where the backing vocals come, oddly, to the forefront and really drive the song, or the pounding crescendo of "Keep Yourself Warm" or the soft acoustic glow of "Poke" bring it snapping back to your attention.

This is definitely recommended. Do not expect too much, and you will be pleasantly overwhelmed by something that is overwhelmingly pleasant.