Frightened Rabbit: “The Woodpile”

Photo by Tim Richmond

When he was a child, Scott Hutchison was painfully shy. No amount of prodding would get him to come out of his shell and play with the other children. His mother, taking notice, called him her little frightened rabbit. Fast-forward a few years, and Hutchison, now a young man, was looking getting a band together with his brother Grant and some friends. What to call it? Frightened Rabbit is the name that stuck.

But Frightened Rabbit’s sound isn’t exactly timid. It can be at times lush and anthemic, at times biting in the grandest British guitar rock tradition. The band really got going in 2004 when Hutchison made the move from his native Selkirk to Glasgow. They released their well-received, debut full-length Sing the Greys in 2006 before hopping onto U.K. indie label Fat Cat. The Scottish band made a big splash at SXSW 2007, and their more stripped down, but no less powerful, sophomore album The Midnight Organ Fight hit the streets the following year. They upped the ante with their excellent 2010 record The Winter of Mixed Drinks. Later that year, they left Fat Cat for Atlantic Records.

Their first full-length for Atlantic came out early last month. Called Pedestrian Verse, it builds on the sonic template laid out on The Winter of Mixed Drinks. The songs are big, and Hutchison’s Scottish brogue is bolder than ever. One of the coolest tunes on Pedestrian Verse is one called “The Woodpile.” The martial rhythm in the verses yields to a chorus that’s expansive and just plain triumphant. Scott Hutchison is the shy kid no more.

You can catch Frightened Rabbit at SXSW:

Thu, 3/14: The Warner Sound Showcase, The Belmont, 9 p.m.
Fri, 3/15: KUTX Live at the Four Seasons, 8 a.m.
Fri, 3/15: Waterloo Records, 12:00 p.m.
Fri, 3/15: Filter Party, Lustre Pearl, 6 p.m.
Sat, 3/16: Rachel Ray Showcase, Stubb’s, 2:45 p.m.
Sat, 3/16: The Onion/AV Club, The Mohawk, 5 p.m.

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