I wrote a little bit about the new Frightened Rabbit album, Pedestrian Verse, prior to its release, and I praised it, because it’s a very good album. But experiencing the singles as they are released (so far: “State Hospital,” “Dead Now,” “The Woodpile,” and now “Backyard Skulls”) really emphasizes just how damn good these songs are. My one-sentence review of Pedestrian Verse is basically: Better than Winter Of Mixed Drinks, not as good as Midnight Organ Fight. But Midnight Organ Fight is a cohesive album, with central themes that hold it together as a statement. Pedestrian Verse is, I’m realizing, a bunch of really great tracks that are actually rewarded by being pulled away from the group. Case in point: “Backyard Skulls” is not, for me, a song that stands out in sequence, but listening to it out of that context, paired here with a new video (featuring FR performing in a high school gymnasium post-homecoming dance), I’m struck by the song’s melody, its instrumental details, its urgency. In that way, maybe Pedestrian Verse is like a short-story collection, while Midnight Organ Fight was a novel: Novels are what people remember, what they carry with them through life, but short stories are really where a writer displays his mastery of craft. Watch the video below.
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