With Interpol/National producer Peter Katis behind the boards, the second album from this Glasgow trio comes invested with its share of high drama. But singer Scott Hutchison, who founded the band with his brother, Grant, prefers directness to theatricality. Overwhelming as some of the album's lyrics can be, he assured in a recent interview that they're “not at all metaphorical,” including the one where he contemplates throwing himself off a bridge.
Like their Edinburgh countrymen Idlewild, Frightened Rabbit aren't afraid to let a dynamic build slowly. “My Backwards Walk” simmers for nearly three minutes before the drums kick in, pitting an anxious strummed guitar against an undulating wash of one-finger piano and gently lapping accordion. Occasionally, as on the somber sea shanty “Who'd You Kill Now,” the band harks back to the more shambling and eclectic sounds of their 2006 debut, Sing the Greys, which was essentially a collection of spruced-up demos. But for the most part, Frightened Rabbit are confident in their insecurities, with Scott Hutchison's quavering voice fighting through the haze, riding the waves and coming home safe.