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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 2 March 2013
It's hard to put my finger on exactly why but this is quite possibly Frightened Rabbit's finest release to date. Lyrically, they've moved up a level from 'The Winter of Mixed Drinks'. In fact there's lyrical gems to be found in every song. Gems on a par with, quite possibly the best band around at the minute, The National.

'So if we can't bring an exorcist/I'll settle for one of your stiffest drinks' from 'Dead now' is typical of Scott Hutchison's dark sense of humour. It's not all bleak though and despite the fact that it doesn't retain the reborn again optimism of 'The Winter of Mixed Drinks', there's an optimistic streak running throughout 'Pedestrian Verse'.

When the Talking Head's inspired 'Dead Now' reaches it's climax, the chorus of 'There's something wrong with me' doesn't sound self-pitying but something triumphant along the lines of The National's 'Abel'

Sonically too, they're stretching themselves further and they've found a wonderful collaborator and producer in Leo Abrahams, a frequent partner of Brian Eno these days. He adds a spritely sense of urgency to some of the songs whilst lending deft sonic touches to some of the mid tempo songs recalling some of Brian Eno's best production work.

Rather inevitably, people who are fans of FR will ask if this is better than 'The Midnight Organ Fight'. I can't answer that at this point as 'TMOF' means an awful lot to a lot of people, including me. I think it just might be though.

One thing is for sure, Frightened Rabbit are in a league of their own and I'd be hard pressed to compare them to any other band out there at the minute. They're able to create anthemic songs without sacrificing integrity or sincerity - A lot like The National to be honest and certainly Scott Hutchison gives Matt Berninger a run for his money in the lyrics department. Sonically and tonally, there's not a lot of comparison. Hutchison's 'voice like a gutter in a toxic storm' certainly sets the two bands apart.

'There is light but there’s a tunnel to crawl through
There is love but its misery loves you
There’s still hope so I think we’ll be fine
In these disastrous times
Disastrous times'

Frightened Rabbit have moved up to a bigger label and thank God, they've not lost their bite. They're still biting and tearing away at life without losing that wonderful sense of realism,humility and hope that makes them totally unique. I love this band and I love this album.
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"You find out that life is just a game of inches," said Al Pacino in a memorable speech in the film "Any Given Sunday". Scott Hutchinson the vocal and songwriting driving force of Scotland's finest Frightened Rabbit would recognise the sentiment. The Frabbit's career has been a stately slow burn, particularly in the UK. Their "Midnight Organ Fight" remains one of the most precious break-up albums ever, but its predecessor 2010's "The Winter of Mixed Drinks" didn't really stamp its full authority, languished in the playoffs and the band still await promotion to the premier division.

"Pedestrian Verse" is their fourth album and as the "fingers crossed review" in the Independent smartly puts it "here's hoping they can also Elbow their way into the mainstream" (Boom boom!). The chances of this are very good as "Pedestrian Verse" is an album which shows that Hutchinson's ability to combine soaring passion with often bleak musical lyricism and mix it into powerhouse songs has increased exponentially. Just listen to the brilliant lead single "The Woodpile" a mix of massive swirling guitars and a chorus so huge it obscures the sun, as Hutchinson pleads "Will you come back to my corner?/Spent too long alone tonight/Would you come and Brighten my corner/A Lit torch to the woodpile eye". Do yourself a favour also seek to check out the "supermarket incident" video that goes with this. The album's opener "Acts of man" again is a big anthem but underpinned by almost Roger Waters like cynicism. Thus the observation that "I see the stumbling pinstriped trouser/Flecks of sick on and off his shoe/Part out the fatty British average/Who lives in the houses around you" is actually one of the kinder lines. These are songs for Broken Britain not least "State Hospital". It starts slowly with a simple set of chords, big drums pounding in the background and Scott Hutchison's uniquely brilliant Selkirk infused voice full of equal parts heart and muscular ache. It is a song of poverty, domestic abuse and set around the birth of a probably unwanted baby. As Hutchinson passionately sings the chorus "Her heart beats like a breeze block thrown down the stairs/Her blood is thicker than concrete forced to be brave she was, born into a grave" you smile broadly knowing that they are back to their very best.

"Pedestrian Verse" is a muscular album full of songs that grab you in an instance and in a vice like grip refuse to let go. Clearly spreading the responsibility of the songwriting duties across the band has assisted this proving that a dose of democracy yields benefits. The surging "Late March, Death March" is a real standout, so to the surging "Backyard Skulls", while the short and punchy separated songs of "Housing (In)' and "Housing (out)" works 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 band'​s 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. On the evidence of "Pedestrian Verse," Frightened Rabbit deserve to be garlanded with praise for this feisty and always emotionally-charged set of songs. It shows a band reaching their peak and like the Scottish Munro's they touch altitudes that many of their counterparts will never summit.
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on 17 February 2016
Two stars for the only two parts of this album I listen to anymore:

* The genius bass that anchors and rides out Acts of Man beginning at "I am just like all the rest of them: Sorry, selfish, trying to improve".
* The bridge in The Oil Slick.

Why was Boxing Night left off this? It's one of your most amazing songs, Scott!
I was incredibly disappointed with the lack of hooks this album but also the fact that it never seems to grow over time either.

Owl John was a masterpiece, and I'm excited about the new album due this year. Let's hope it's better than this.
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on 9 February 2013
So glad I bought the Deluxe Edition as the extra tracks are superb and to be honest, it's hard to see why they would want to leave them out in the first place as tracks such as "If you were me" and "Snow Still Melting" have a euphony to them that most bands quite simply can't reach. First listen to Pedestrian Verse like old friend returning from distant travels, Frabbit yet cast the impression there is much more to them than we already know, and much more to come from this frighteningly underplayed hive of talent, with their genius for twisting the familiar into something "much more".

Haven't enjoyed an album this much since Dry the River's Shallow Bed, and before that Frabbit's The Winter of Mixed Drinks (which is hardly "over-produced" or "disappointing"). Just get the impression there's an willful knee-jerk quality to the poor reviews here, but hey - each to their own!
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VINE VOICEon 5 March 2013
Like a lot of Rabbit fans, I found A Winter of Mixed Drinks a tad disappointing after the epic Midnight Organ Feast. Thankfully, the lads have surpassed themselves with this beautiful album. It seems to be getting a lot of airplay and word of mouth publicity which suggests it could be a bit of a breakthrough album for them.There are shades of Idlewild and even a nod at Big Country here I think. A melodic celtic rock thing going on for sure. Check out the superb video/track The Woodpile for example. Scott Hutchinson's angsty vocals are perfectly suited the compositions herein. The instrumentals are sharp and the percussions hold it all together brilliantly. Having seen them live I would suggest that Frightened Rabbit would be perfect for Glastonbury...are they on? I know they generally do T in the Park. Great band...great album.
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on 6 March 2013
Tremendous album full of fRabbits excellent songwriting & emotion. Buy it & buy all their previous material as it all contains some of the finest music you'll ever listen too! Travesty they arent getting recognition they deserve here in uk
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on 5 February 2013
From the title to the opening line ("I am that d***head in the kitchen, giving wine to your best girl's glass") to the closing song: ("I've got a voice like a gutter in a toxic storm". [...] only an idiot would swim through the s*** I write") the album seems to be a prolonged exercise in self-deprecation. Much better tunes than their last album though and production better suited to the band's inherent rough and ready style.

I feared for FR after their disappointing Winter of Mixed Drinks (some good tunes but submerged under would-be stadium rock production) but this album goes a long way towards restoring my faith. Not as good as Midnight Organ Fight but still pretty good.
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on 17 July 2014
This is a great record from Frightened Rabbit. While some say it doesn't quite meet the standards of The Midnight Organ Fight, whether that's true or not does not detract from how well written and performed the songs on this album are. From the catchy, upbeat "Late March, Death March" to the more chilling "Nitrous Gas", this album is worth the price, and then some.
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on 21 February 2013
In a world where the LP album is disappearing its good that some bands are still trying to put thought into producing great albums from start to finish. This is definately one which you turn on and have listened right through before you know it. Pedestrian Verse is a great album and will surely be in many album of the year lists come December.
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on 8 April 2013
This is a brilliant album, although took a couple of listens to fully ignite. In my mind, possibly the strongest album just after Midnight Organ Fight. It's been a lot of fun watching this band grow since I first saw them in '05. Glad to see that they're continually growing in popularity.
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