4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
'Mixed Drinks' but not mixed quality - great stuff,
This review is from: The Winter Of Mixed Drinks (Audio CD)
It was always going to be tough following up such a widely acclaimed album as the Midnight Organ Fight (MOF). With the critical praise that release got it would have been easy for the band to fall into the sin of repetition and try to recreate MOF. With 'Mixed Drinks' they have avoided that pitfall and produced a record that's very, very different but still recognisable as a product that could only have come from Frightened Rabbit (the lyrics, soem of them cleverly even echo lyrics on MOF). MOF had moments of fabulous intensity in it's lyrics that sometimes seemed to me to break apart from the music they were that overpowering (witness the fabulous 'Poke'), on Mixed Drinks the vocals seem to me much more tied into the rest of the instrumentation. Just a personal view I guess, but to me it makes this sound much more the output of a band rather than the band backing Hutchison and because of this I think the album actually holds together more than MOF. Now that doesn't mean I think it's necessarily better, just different. In fact I think in some ways comparisons with what's gone before here are redundant because this is an altogether different beast to MOF.
The album is played with a great intensity from the beginning. There is a continuous wail of guitar all the way through that suggests comparisons with Glasvegas and also labelmates The Twilight Sad. (I like this in Scots bands - guitars as pipes? Or is that me being unbelievably trite....). The consistent attack of the music never lets up. Whereas on MOF there was a tremendous variety musically this is an album that weaves together much more from track to track. Gone is some of the belligerence in the lyrics and vocals of MOF ('Poke' and 'Keep Yourself Warm'). Instead we get the same beautifully written lyrics but far less personal, much more telling a story second-hand rather than first-hand. The lyrics throughout though really are a joy, just like the music and it's also great to note that Hutchison's voice sounds incredibly powerful on here. Great stuff. (9/10)