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Sing Along with Frightened Rabbit Tomorrow Night at Terminal 5

May 4th, 2016

It began as a solo project that soon enough blossomed into a family affair before becoming a full-fledged band. Scott Hutchison (vocals and guitar) launched Frightened Rabbit—his mom’s nickname for him thanks to his childhood shyness—as a stage name for his one-man shows in Southeastern Scotland more than a decade ago. The solo act became a duo when Scott’s brother, Grant Hutchison (drums and vocals), joined in 2004, and then Billy Kennedy (bass and guitar), came on two years later in time for the band’s promising debut full-length, Sing the Greys (stream it below). AllMusic said, “Sing the Greys isn’t a landmark album by any means, but it’s got all of the ingredients for a follow-up that kicks open the door instead of pushing it just enough to get a good look.” And that’s exactly what happened: With the release of each subsequent album, Frightened Rabbit (above, doing “Break” late in March at Rough Trade NYC for WFUV FM) have revealed more and more about their upbeat music about downer topics, or what Pitchfork dubbed “ramshackle anthems of heartbreak and hangovers.”

The A.V. Club called their acclaimed 2008 breakup album, The Midnight Organ Fight (stream it below), “the emotional apex of the Scottish band’s dark, terrific second album, which circles the drain of failed relationships and bad sex—and somehow finds sparks of hope in mountains of crushing hopelessness.” AllMusic, again, weighed in on 2010’s The Winter of Mixed Drinks (stream it below), “With each release, Frightened Rabbit’s music grows by leaps and bounds…. On The Winter of Mixed Drinks, they focus and polish Organ Fight’s epics—and add a healthy dose of optimism.” The rave reviews continued with 2013’s Pedestrian Verse (stream it below). “The result is a collection of stirring, instant anthems to get fists pumping in the air and swaying crowds singing along,” according to the Guardian. “Frontman Scott Hutchison—a tempest of a man whose voice may well have been crafted by yelling from the tops of mountains—has a gripping, literary style of lyric writing, and you can lose yourself in his dark, yet uplifting tales.”

The Glasgow-based band—now rounded out by Andy Monaghan (guitar and keys) and Simon Liddell (guitar)—released their fifth studio LP, the electronics-enhanced Painting of a Panic Attack (stream it below), produced by the National’s Aaron Dessner, just last month. “‘Evolution’ is a word that gets thrown around a lot in the music industry; bands are expected to grow with each release as stagnancy is frowned upon,” wrote Paste magazine. “Frightened Rabbit evolve the right way with this release, changing their sound, but not so much that they lose their trademark sound. This is still the Frightened Rabbit we all know and love, as gloomy as we last heard from them.” Plus, they’re still just as rowdy and rambunctious as ever when performing live, and they headline Terminal 5 tomorrow night. Local four-piece Caveman open the show.