New Music Tuesday: Scottish Self-Loathing Edition

Note: New Music Tuesday highlights something I’ve been listening to regularly during the week prior. I like it. I include critical comments both positive and negative to demonstrate my independent ignorance of musical convention.

Del Amitri is the love of my musical life. I fed on their ironic, narcissistic, self-loathing for most of my 20’s and am a better man for it. Since they broke up, I’ve had to content myself with a couple of fine solo albums from their frontman Justin Currie, but those just aren’t the same. I’m always on the lookout for some whiskey-soaked deprecatory literary Scottish rock. Always.

Thank God for Frightened Rabbit.

Album:Pedestrian Verse

Artist: Frightened Rabbit

Label: Canvasback/ATL (Grouplove, Fanfarlo, The Joy Formidable)

Release Date: February 5, 2013

Where I Found It: Their previous two albums have put me on their watch list. This one was on my radar for awhile.

What The Critics Are Saying: 

The tightly constrained rhythms and miserable lyrics that make the tracks catchy are also what make the album something of a downer. (Consequence of Sound)

Over the years, the group has been lumped in with the proud tradition of sad Scottish bastards, and Pedestrian Verse’s moody “Nitrous Gas” shows why. “Leave the acute warm-heartedness / Go where the joyless bastard lives / He’s dying to bring you down with him / Suck in the bright red major keys / Spit out the blue minor misery / I’m dying to bring you down with me.” (A.V. Club)

Frightened Rabbit’s major label full-length debut is a triumphant album. It expertly expands on their previous work with a big, muscular series of anthems that investigate faith, masculinity, and Scottish identity while sharpening their increasingly identifiable brand of wry, thoughtful songwriting. (Under The Radar)

Here are a few highlights, starting with the aforementioned “Nitrous Gas”:


“Holy” is another terrific track, although its irreverence is wearing self-righteous the more I listen to it.


And finally, “The Woodpile,” which just makes you want to light something on fire.