Pedestrian Verse

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It’s been a fair wait since we heard the joys of the hopeful The Winter Of Mixed Drinks - three years in fact. There’s been a couple of EPs, both offering wonderful ideas, but not so much the coherent full picture a long player hopes to unravel before it’s audience. So, at last, comes Pedestrian Verse, fourth album proper by Frightened Rabbit, those much-loved and much-acclaimed dalliers with the ups and downs of life who, in Scott Hutchinson, seem to have a lead contributor who’s unfortunate enough (or perhaps not given the wealth of material that seems to stem from personal experience) to have been handed more than his fair share of rollercoaster fluctuations on his path up to this album. Likewise, in him they’ve a voice you can empathise with, sympathise with, and believe in – and this most natural ability to come across like he’s lived through or going through both the darkest and happiest places you yourself have ever been to, not so much simultaneously, but in an album by album chronology. The curse of the wise would seem, from the outside looking in, to be self-awareness and certainly, on Pedestrian Verse, Hutchinson seems to know all too well that he’s going through the rough stuff again. That’s not to say it’s an album with a negative feel but lyrically, the themes of love, loss, death, faith, illness, and violence are all there in abandon, so too is a sense of social commentary that has maybe never surfaced on previous FR material – whereas before much of the more negative characteristics of the human psyche manifested themselves in Hutchinson’s lamentations about his own character and shortcomings, it would seem he now feels a little more comfortable in being critical of us all, not just returning purely to himself as an example of those ills. Most importantly though this all contributes to a wonderful album, underpinned by a supreme songwriter and a band emerging from behind him to make more telling marks of their own on the music – it has all those qualities you associate with this band, the hooks, the choruses, the power, depth, driving rhythms, the moments of darkness, and those moments of tenderness and clarity. It’s stunning, and you’ll love it.