01 March 2010

Frightened Rabbit - The Winter of Mixed Drinks (the FanBoy review)

Right, I know this should have been up before today, but due to a comedy of errors which meant that my promo copy never got posted, then when it did the evil fuckers at the Royal Mail went and snapped my copy (it still hurts). Thankfully though a copy did finally arrive, however, before posting my thoughts, (yes thoughts, this is not a review more a rambling) I wanted to give myself some time to fully digest the album as a whole. As the band have played such a major role in my life in these past two years it would be unfair of me to rush in with an early review without giving it the attention it deserved.
That was one of the major issues for not giving a quick review, the other was that on the first few listens I wasn't particularly sold. In fact I felt a bit let down. I am guessing that most of you will have heard the album by now, you might have downloaded a leak, listened to a stream, or some of you old fashioned folk might have actually paid for a copy.
In which case you might be wondering why I didn't like it, to be honest with you I think I just couldn't accept that my 'wee band' had moved on. The sound on The Winter of Mixed Drinks is certainly much bigger, which just didn't sit comfortably with me at first. Basically, I think I just couldn't accept that they had moved on as a band.
Sometimes you just need a good kick up the backside to wake yourself up, in my case it was an article that Euan wrote on the Steinberg Principle entitled 'Challenging Your Established Sound'. It made me take a step back and realise that I had to listen to the album for what it was and not just constantly compare it the Midnight Organ Fight.
That was my Eureka moment, the next day I came back to TWOMD and listened to it for what it is and not how it compared to their last album. After that I was sold, it has pretty much been played on repeat ever since.

Not Miserable

For me personally the Midnight Organ Fight is a Glasgow record, it just seems to fit in with the life of the city. The Winter of Mixed Drinks has the same kind of feel, this time it mirrors it's Crail surroundings were the album was first written. The pressure of expectation that the band must have been under to come up with to follow up TMOF must have weighed heavily on the band. Instead of re-hashing another TMOF, the band have produced something bold and genuinely bigger. The catchy choruses are still there, the almost religious anthems are much bolder. Although, I must admit that on certain songs I can't help but think that they do sound a bit like Snow Patrol. Now I know plenty of folk have said this before, but I've never really heard it before. In all honesty I don't really see this as being a bad thing, I like the Patrol, have done for years, not going to stop liking them since they got all big on me.

Nothing Like You

So do I think Frightened Rabbit will climb to the giddy heights of the aforementioned band, possibly. The songs are there, more than enough hard graft has been put in. Seriously how many gigs/radio sessions do they do?! Actually why am I complaining.
I think all that is needed is for any of the following to take place, Radio One/Two to cotton on to them, a Jules Holland performance or for the NME to get right behind them.
If I am honest I hope that they don't go down the NME route, as this always seemed to be a route that they weren't willing to court. I always took 'Music Now' from Sings the Greys t0 be a dig at the weekly music magazine, but then that that was always my take on it.
Part of me would love to see them become massive, however, there is the selfish part in me that doesn't want to see them grow up. The thought of paying to see them play in venues like the SECC instead of somewhere like the Goat or the Captains Rest really doesn't appeal. But hey that's me being a selfish fucker.
In summation then, the album is a cracker, album of the year, possibly, although the Unwinding Hours album is slightly edging it for me a the moment. If you haven't already bought yourself a copy of the the Winter of Mixed Drinks, then I urge you to do so. It's a fabulous album, the Frabbits have deserve some success after all of the work that's been put in, oh and they also deserve some of your cash. We want a follow up to this one remember...

Yes I Would

1 comment:

  1. "you might have downloaded a leak, listened to a stream, or some of you old fashioned folk might have actually paid for a copy. "

    I actually did all three. A nice American gave me his stream codes then the next day it leaked by which point my pre-order had already been in for a while. Still actually waiting on my physical copy, it'll be sitting in Dundee for the next 9 days whilst I'm here in Stirling. But I'm also seeing the boys live in 4 days so I'll live off the mp3's if I get to see them on album tour.

    Also I must be weird because I loved it first time, immediately. The only thing I took a while to warm to was the album version of Living in Colour.