By KRUA Music Manager Oliver Petraitis
While one might associate a frightened rabbit with chronic social anxiety or expressive shyness, this group of Scottish indie rockers is anything but. In fact, the opposite is true – this is NOT a cute and cuddly, skittish, kid-friendly album. Pedestrian Verse, the fourth full length album from Frightened Rabbit, discloses the swept-under-the-rug inner conflicts of those attempting to make sense of being alive. The album’s lyrics are beautifully written and are supplemented by high-energy rhythms refined punk influences.
The album focuses largely on physical ailment, in the tracks “Dead Now” and “Nitrous Gas”, refusal of organized religion in “Holy” and a certain rebellion against conforming to the middle class in “Acts of Man”. Lyrically the album harks back to the poignancy and graphic poetry of Third Eye Blind, while simultaneously playing out in a refined style that is rarely coupled with restless lyrics. The catchiest lyrics come from “The Woodpile,” inviting the listeners to set fire and let burn new romantic flames.
Overall Pedestrian Verse is clarified, haute couture punk rock: it does away with grungy distortion in favor of clean arrangements over which the slick vocal melodies (made slicker by rolling Scottish accents) soar. Frightened Rabbit achieves here a sound that exceeds punk rock’s generally minimalist garage sound, instead filling in tracks with vocal choirs and far-reaching soundscapes, and farther-reaching, socially and politically charged provocative lyrics. Pedestrian Verse is a sonic success. Worthy of buying rather than burning, and deserving of being put on repeats and playlists for months to come. 4.5/5.