If you are like me and have slowly gotten over Frightened Rabbit, with the thinking that they have pretty much peaked at this point and that they can’t possibly add anything new to the indie scene; then their Late March Death March EP will work as a good lure to draw you into their new album. Early on in their latest effort Pedestrian Verse, the drums along with the keys are dramatic and prominent while the guitars play more of a complimentary role. However they eventually return to the sound that you are used to hearing from them which is guitar heavy and has Scott Hutchison almost crying lyrics into the mic.
As a side note, I am not sure why men in indie bands are so fascinated with crying while singing. This only works if you are Prince and if you are singing Purple Rain. After seeing that movie and seeing how hot Appalonia was, how can you not cry along with him? Well thankfully Hutchison isn’t quite as whiny on this EP.
It starts off with the title track Late March, Death March and once again the drums are prominent. It’s a catchy song that you will find yourself tapping your foot too but it’s one of the weaker tracks on the album especially since it features whistling. Hutchison begins singing about how his cursing in church shocks everyone and how that also stops the joyous handclaps of the congregation; I guess that’s better than calling yourself a black skinhead right Kanye? Well thankfully after this you move on to the acoustic Architect which is a collaboration they did with Atlanta’s Manchester Orchestra. It has decent guitars in it but musically it’s nothing special; the strong lyrics however to their best to save it.
I’m not normally down with alternate versions of rock songs however hip hop songs I’m ok with because typically it has a better beat and about 20 guest appearances by other rap artists. Rabbit’s alternate version of Late March sounds like it’s an 80’s cover. It’s like they went into the studio, popped the collar to their leather coats, threw on some face powder, and added in a little mascara before channeling their inner Simple Minds. The fact that they use electric drums and Hutchison’s voice isn’t as whiny as it is in the original, makes this version a little bit better than its predecessor. Now all its missing is a little Drake at the back end of it with P Diddy dancing in the video.’
The last two tracks are live versions of December’s Traditions and The Oil Slick. In December’s he sings about how depressing it is to lose the summer and the sun (obviously he doesn’t live in Texas) and wails “Ït’s not the answer treating cancer like a cold, what do you need from me” The ending is quite dramatic as well as it comes to an operatic climax both vocally and musically. Oil Slick is an odd track that tries to be a bit dancey at times but thankfully returns to a normal sounding Rabbit song by it’s end. I think the live tracks properly capture the energy of their shows and lets you hear that they are clearly not just a studio band. Give this EP a listen and I am fairly certain that you will be back on board with Frightened Rabbit and with what they have to offer.