released Mar 9th, 2010

from the album - Swim Until You Can't See Land

YouTube - Frightened Rabbit - Swim Until You Cant See Land

from all music

Playing clever but purposefully naοve pop in the manner of the Vaselines, the Twilight Sad, and the Clean, Frightened Rabbit sound a good bit bolder than their moniker would suggest, though it suits their lively but nervous musical personality. Frightened Rabbit was founded in Glasgow, Scotland, in 2004, when guitarist Scott Hutchison and his brother Grant, a percussionist who — like his sibling — prefers to keep his last name a secret, began recording demos of songs they had written. Encouraged by friends and family, the brothers added a second guitarist, their friend Billy, and the trio began making the rounds of Glasgow's pubs and music venues. Slowly but surely gaining a reputation for their work, Frightened Rabbit began work on their first album, initially planning to record at the home studio where they'd done their original demos but eventually opting to record at Glasgow's Diving Bell Studio with Marcus Mackay instead.

Frightened Rabbit released Sing the Greys through their own label, Hits the Fan Records, in mid-2006. Reviews were enthusiastic, and Universal picked up the disc for distribution in the U.K. and the U.S. The group's reputation enjoyed a considerable boost in America after they played a well-received showcase at the 2007 South by Southwest Music Conference in Austin, TX, and the U.S. release of Sings only increased Frightened Rabbit's popularity. The band's sophomore release, Midnight Organ Flight, arrived in April 2008. Keyboard player Andy Monaghan was added to the line-up shortly before the release of the album.

album review from pitchfork

Though it has only been two years since Frightened Rabbit released their breakout sophomore album, Midnight Organ Fight, a lot has changed. The Scottish group began as a trio featuring brothers Scott and Grant Hutchison and their friend Billy Kennedy, but they blossomed into a quartet during their last tour and are now a five-piece with the addition of Make Model's Gordon Skene. The band's sound has also expanded. Having made a name for themselves with raw, confessional folk-rock driven by urgent guitar interplay and brutal percussion, Frightened Rabbit have left behind their folky beginnings and given in to their loudest, most blustery impulses for their third full-length.

The Winter of Mixed Drinks is definitely more sophisticated than its predecessors. From the reverberating electronic buzz that swathes album opener "Things" to the spoken-word samples that lie underneath the droning "Man/Bag of Sand", Frightened Rabbit have muddled their simple melodies with arty effects, washes of shoegaze guitars, and baroque orchestrations. Tunes meander instead of galloping ahead toward a climactic chorus. Many songs are obsessed with oceanic motifs-- starting with the escapist maritime metaphors of the shuffling single "Swim Until You Can't See Land" and continuing through the sailing and floating imagery of the stomping "Living in Colour"-- and the album is likewise murky and vast. The Hutchison brothers still write rousing anthems, but the slickness of their production or the tarting-up of their simple setup makes them sound a little more like other bombastic bands from the British Isles (like Muse) and a little less like the band that made those first two albums.

One of the collection's best tracks, "Not Miserable", does manage to capture the dramatic crescendos of Midnight Organ Fight, but perhaps its title is a clue to Mixed Drinks' new sound. Frontman Scott Hutchison is, as he sings, not miserable anymore. Midnight Organ Fight was an account of his own terrible breakup, and though he doesn't necessarily sound happy throughout Mixed Drinks, he is definitely more optimistic and less heartbroken. "I am not put-upon, I am free from disease, no grays, no liver spots, most of the misery's gone," he sings of his newly earned glass-is-half-full outlook. But it was more viscerally affecting to hear Scott's hangdog tales of how it's OK with him if you call out the wrong name during sex or how it takes more than ******* someone to keep warm than it is to hear him detail the frustration, purpose, or assurance of moving on and growing up. Midnight Organ Fight announced with its title that its underlying concern was sex (not getting it, not getting it from who you want, being unfulfilled by it), and the songs on this new album, though more lyrically complex, seem neutered by comparison.

"Majestic," "grand," and "arena-worthy" are all words that could be used to describe this record. And when Frightened Rabbit play to their strengths and a song's chorus is sailing or Grant is pounding out stomping rhythms, it's hard to resist getting swept up in their pop fantasia. But the band's sound was always big, and their songs were always bursting with oversized emotion. The difference is that Midnight Organ Fight, recorded in two weeks, seemed spontaneous, and with its devastated post-breakup themes, it earned its aural space with its outsized emotional content. The glossy production of The Winter of Mixed Drinks coupled with its less personal/more universal storytelling, makes its songs seem bigger musically than their content deserves.

Track Listing

1."Things" — 4:26
2."Swim Until You Can't See Land" — 4:19
3."The Loneliness and the Scream" — 4:09
4."The Wrestle" — 4:00
5."Skip the Youth" — 6:18
6."Nothing Like You" — 3:03
7."Man/Bag of Sand" — 2:26
8."FootShooter" — 4:13
9."Not Miserable" — 4:12
10."Living In Colour" — 3:46
11."Yes, I Would" — 4:37