The Midnight Organ Fight
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The Midnight Organ Fight
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FRIGHTENED RABBIT - THE MIDNIGHT ORGAN FIGHT - CD
They call themselves Frightened Rabbit, but there's nothing shy or timid about this Glasgow trio. On The Midnight Organ Fight, singer/guitarist Scott Hutchison says what he thinks--what he feels--and he doesn't hold anything back. That doesn't make the follow-up to 2006's Sings the Greys a difficult or painful listen. It's cathartic. In "The Modern Leper," Hutchison laments that "a cripple walks among all you tired human beings," while in "Good Arms vs Bad Arms," he admits that "I might not want you back, but I want to kill him." For all the unvarnished honesty, a cautious optimism shines through, particularly on the ebullient "Old Old Fashioned," within which he suggests, "We can get old, old fashioned just like they did in '43!" Aside from their keen melodic sense, the musicians alternate between acoustic strumming and electric thrumming; fast songs and leisurely ones, like the Simon and Garfunkel-ish "Poke.” Though the Glaswegians have their own thing going on, they still bring a few other acts to mind, particularly the Shins, Arab Strap, and indie-era Snow Patrol. Followers of those more established entities will find an equally appealing, if pricklier sensibility at play throughout this Fight. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
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Indie folk is basically a revival of the folk and world music of the 50s through 70s, only with a little more of a rock feel to it. A whole lot of the 60s music that made it to classic rock status either is folk, or owes a lot to the influence of folk. There's a focus on the meaning of the music, music as a message not just music for music's sake. Frightened Rabbit does that well.
The music is good, simply instrumented and well played. Vocals are good, sometimes a little beat up, sometimes a little grandstanding, sometimes a little victorious, and always feeling genuine and like something you can relate to. Listen to it mostly as a collection of short stories in a theme, enjoy the music and the good vibe, and if the first track doesn't grab you, stick with it and give it a chance to win you over. This is a very good album by a less-well-known band, and deserving of a listen.
The album is powerfully emotional, but not emo. It's real and honest, vice whiny and juvenile. Scott's voice is responsible for generating much of the power. He sounds a bit like a Scottish Conor Oberst if you're familiar with Bright Eyes. Scott's voice wavers and cracks with the emotion of the songs. Couple this with the layering of guitars and organ and you should discover some tears on your cheek. Even though the themes are fairly raw and serious, the band doesn't fail to rock on some of the tracks, particularly on "Keep Yourself Warm." The build on this song is amazing.
I saw them open for Modest Mouse awhile back and they actually stole the show. Highly recommended if you like powerful emotional, but not cheesy, indie-pop.
To describe the music is not as easy. All I can say is that it's atmospheric, emotional (not "emo"), heart wrenching, and even
uplifting and quite fun at times! But all you need to know is if you like real melodic indie-rock w/ a Scottish twist and the occasional blue explicit lyric, don't hesitate in checking these guys out, immediately!
(Especially when it happens to be my favorite band.)