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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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This is a review about debts of honour and all that. Midnight Organ Fight has been an album that has taken residency in this reviewers head and heart with a scary level of staying power. It's been "out" since April 2008 and no week that has passed in that time when it has pushed more recent releases into a poor second place. It was one of those albums which involved a titanic struggle at first with what appeared an album comprised of a couple of standout tracks and little else but an overwrought singer. Mea Culpa therefore since persistence has paid off and the rewards are rich. Frightened Rabbit are from Selkirk and sing in broad Caledonian accents. They consist of brothers Scott Hutchison (vocals, guitar), Grant Hutchison (drums, vocals), Billy Kennedy (guitar, keyboards, bass), Andy Monaghan (keyboards, guitar, bass) and Gordon Skene (various instruments).

Let us pause, since you are thinking immediately that this is the Proclaimers mark 2 aren't you? Actually the band owes more debts to the school of classic indie pop. Influences could be fellow countrymen James Yorkston, Kenny Anderson, Biffy Clyro and even some of the best bits of Snow Patrol, but more importantly are the traces which hark back to the Byrds, the Band, REM, Counting Crows and Elliot Smith. TMOF is the bands second album and finds them producing classic songs. They are honest, full of passion, brilliantly sung and will eventually soundtrack your life. FR are starting to take off in the States and building a committed UK following. Their new album "The Winter of Mixed Drinks" is due for release in March 2010 and should be a belter.

For now however check out the 14 great songs on this album and in particular the stunning opener the "Modern Leper" a love song that starts slowly but builds to an explosive finale where Hutchinson implores "you must be a masochist?/ To love a modern leper on his last leg." Try not to sing along or not be touched by the brilliant powerful vocal. Hutchison lyrics are about the most confessional I have heard this side of a Joni Mitchell album. Next up is the brassy "I feel better" which has the energy of a Boeing 747 taking off the runway and should have been a hit. My absolute favourites however are the crushing hopelessness of one night stands detailed in "Keep yourself warm" where Hutchinson's inebriated character exclaims "I'm drunk/ I'm drunk/ And you're probably on pills/ If we've both got the same diseases/ It's irrelevant girl" . This is the band setting out their stall and adding that extra dimension that class bands seep through their pores. "The Twist" is truly excellent as is "Poke" but "My Backwards Walk" is the song that does it for me every time. Again a slow builder this is a one of the GREAT break-up songs it's painfully honest and simply perfect. Who cannot love the verse "I'm working hard on walking out/shoes keep sticking to the ground/my clothes won't let me close the door/these trousers seem to love your floor". All in all one of the greatest British albums of the last decade and a neglected classic for a Scottish band that will hopefully have a great new year. Happy Hogmanay.
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on 14 April 2008
Following on just six months after their critically acclaimed, `Sing The Grey's' EP, The Midnight Organ Fight will hopefully see Frightened Rabbit making as much of a mark on the UK music scene as they have done back in their native Glasgow.

The bands unique twist of rough-edged, unpolished indie rock and heartfelt, warbling Scottish vocals are bound to win them fans as loose guitars jangle against a tight pulse as the excellent `Good Arms Vs Bad Arms' zips through a volley of percussion, before cascading into a triumphant lo-fi pop shuffle.

It is an album that delivers a homely charm, through fizzing backing tracks and small, poetic cinematic moments, all the time accompanied by drums, bass, guitar, and straightforward washes of keyboard. The arrangements, too, are linear and humble, often blending shaggy elements with rigid ones to create a sense of purposeful pace, as heard in `Old Old Fashioned' with its scratching violins and clatter of drumsticks at the end.

'The Midnight Organ' is a catchy, ragged ode to numbness that's belied by its impassioned delivery: Frightened Rabbit don't go to great lengths to sell disaffection - as `The Twist' or `My Backwards Walk' will show you, this is fun, unpretentious music at its finest. If you haven't heard Frightened Rabbit yet, make it your mission to do so, as you will soon discover selkirk's best-kept secret.
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on 3 June 2016
Amazing!! I have loved this album for years, every song is brilliant. purchasing it on vinyl is quite possibly the best purchase of my life.
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on 28 September 2008
I'm going to keep this very simple...this is THE best album of 2008 - no question! I'm a big fan of guitar bands and buy lots of music (too much if I'm honest, maybe 6 albums a week) so trust me when I tell you that I know what I'm talking about!
Frightened Rabbit are a rare band - talented, passionate, interesting yet incredibly likeable. Some people may find some of their lyrics a little too dark (especially concerning the tracks 'The Modern Leper' and 'Poke') but Frightened Rabbit are much more than just slightly disturbing lyrics. I really can't think of a band to compare them to, and although Snow Patrol and Idlewild have a similar sound, both these bands are far more lightweight and 'fluffy' to deserve to be compared to F.R.
All I can do is urge you to take a chance on this criminally underated band! I suspect by the time their third album is released (in 2009?) they'll be seen as much more than the new small band they are at the min! Dive in and enjoy...
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on 18 June 2008
This is so far and away the best album of 2008 that it pains me just how little recognition Frightened Rabbit get. How this didn't get a Mercury nomination is completely beyond me.
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VINE VOICEon 17 February 2009
I first heard Frightened Rabbit perform on the Gaelic language channel BBC Alba's Rapal Indie Rock show. It was enough to seek out more aural delights from the Scottish four piece.
Their Myspace page confirms suspicions that FR are a notch above most up and coming Indie bands. A first listen to 'The midnight organ feast' offers the final verdict. These Rabbits run !
There is an American tinge to their music. Part Counting Crows part The Shins. Heavily guitar laden with organs and a neat drum section bringing up the rear. The whole 14 track package unwraps seamlessly into a 4 star outing of which the single 'heads roll off' reveals itself as an absolute classic track which stands up alongside the best of the best.
Will Frightened Rabbit become a name in the game or remain a cultish underground ensemble ....only time will tell? Well worth a listen.
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on 13 May 2013
I bought this album a few years back on the recommendation of a friend and what a recommendation it turned out to be!

On first listen to this album I enjoyed it but only loved 2 or 3 songs on it. However, this album gets better and better with every listen. Now, after literally listening to this album hundreds of times it is in my top 5 albums ever. Even now, I find myself taking pleasure in a lyric that had previously gone unnoticed.

This album truly is a masterpiece. The honesty of emotion that seeps from this album is just about unrivaled. It has so so much to give. If you are like me on first listen and have a few favourite songs, then keep listening, they will soon all be your favourite.

Oh, and if this is your first foray into frightened rabbit, then don't stop here. Their other albums aren't too shabby either!
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on 20 December 2011
I don't know how they do it, these guys. Poignant lyrics, songs on a massive scale that are anthemic, messy, yet beautiful all the same. A million ideas are aptly conveyed through loads of swearing, mumbling and wailing yet spot-on vocals about love, life, belief, faith, existence even (Head Rolls Off) and much much more. It's a brutal record to absorb the lyrics of and was clearly a once in a lifetime one for Scott. He might never match this but that's fine because he did THIS. Easily my favourite record of the last decade, it ebbs and flows at what seems to be just a PERFECT clip, which I can't help but believe might be pure coincidence. But hey, sometimes when you write something heartfelt enough even over a whole album, the ideas get conveyed so perfectly that everything seems ideal. This is one of those records. Art in any form is difficult to quantify, and hence I felt weird giving this a rating, but I asked myself, "Is there anything WRING with this record?" And there really wasn't.

I got to know them when I found out they were supporting Death Cab on a US tour, from my brother. So checked them out and knew they were the best thing I'd heard since, well in my case, perhaps The National. This record, as good as all that band's records are, I listen to far more than any other record I've listened to in recent memory.

Don't even think about price. Just get it. I feel stupid that I got to know them this late.
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VINE VOICEon 13 July 2011
I was listening to the radio a couple of weeks ago when I heard tracks from this album, some if not all of the band members were in the studio, discussing the album. Sadly I had never heard of this band before, and thought they sounded similiar to Mumford and Sons and also a bit like Arcade Fire. This album blows anything produced by the bands I have mentioned well out of the water. I cannot stop playing it, it is the best music I have heard in years.
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on 3 August 2013
Absolutely perfect record, the live album and free mp3 download were just the cherry on top. As soon as I played it I instantly forgot about the cost.
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