Frightened Rabbit – Sing the Greys

In theory, fairly standard indie rock. Guitar, bass, vocals, and drums, typically about relationships. Now I like a good relationship, and I feel a certain affection for a bad one, but I realize that music about a such thing as a man and a woman being conned into saying ridiculous things in the name of biological continuance is rather cliche, so a band’s got to stand out, so how do these guys? Well,

1) The band is actually named after a stupid Welsh town. Did you know that it used to be fashionable to laugh about how poor the Welsh were?
2) Unhappiness! Nothing here is in any way optimistic, except “Music Now,” which is an optimistic ode to current music, a feeling not often expressed in a musical world inundated with nostalgia (though some might say it’s inevitable given how much past we have, it’s nice to see an unapologetic love of the present). The sort of title track, “The Greys” tries to create a new, more modern way of being miserable, to replace the blues. It’s groovy, “man.”
3) Unusual topics! There’s nothing here that resembles the stereotypical “I was in love” or “I was broken up with” or “I love ya baby” bullshit. They get down to specifics, and the specifics are on target. “Yawns” is the best example, being about a sad dying relationship, and one verse is specifically about awkward couple dinners with nothing much to say. “She yawns because she’s bored / he yawns because he can’t sleep anymore.” “Snake” is about looking forward to a trip to see a girl with the lyrical focus, it seems, on a pet snake. Everything is at least somewhat off kilter and atypical of the musical world, while staying close enough to standard foci (catchy guitar riffs, normal production) to be accessible to your average jewess.
4) Most importantly, the lead singer has the most adorable Scottish accent in the mother fucking history of the world. Seriously, the guy could sing about how the wished Hitler finished the job and I’d still enjoy it. It’s a joy listening to him sing.

The guitarist is good at finding catchy notes that fit the rhythm. The rhythm section is an unspectacular success. Sadly, it’s a very short album, with a full 3/11’s of its tracks being lazy, cutesy instrumentals (but if it has 11 tracks iT MUST be a real album!), and most of the second half of the album is pretty forgetful except when you hear it, and ‘Behave!” is far too Dave Matthews, but it’s a success for modern music!

I’m drunk and disappointed. We should all steal from our friends’ rooms, eat chicken skin when nobody is around, and go on vacations without telling anybody. No. Must not angst! Frightened Rabbit?

8/10

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