Misery loves company, and no one knows better than Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit. The Scottish act’s 2007 sophomore album, Midnight Organ Fight, was inspired by a breakup and shook out as a minor symphony of catharsis, regret and Hutchison’s gruff baritone. Though a downer (“It takes more than fucking…to keep warm”), it leapt onto best-of-the-year lists like hobos on freight trains, and rightfully so.
Ruing (it’s a common theme) the aural shortcuts on Organ Fight brought on by time constraints, Hutchison increased the band from four to five members and spent more time in the studio for The Winter of Mixed Drinks. But tinkering with the formula yields similar results: a grand success.
He tries, but Hutchison can’t stray from dark territory. “Swim Until You Can’t See Land,” an ode to being alone, precedes the self-explanatory “The Loneliness and the Scream.” This batch of gut-punchy songs builds with deep bass and hefty acoustic hooks, before typically devolving into revelry—tub-thumping kick drum, hand claps and melodic barroom chanting.
Hutchison’s burr remains the band’s greatest asset, lighting up each melancholy track. Misery can be a beautiful thing.
Rabbit hops into Metro Saturday 8.