Before 2004, the best-known export of Selkirk, Scotland, was a dry fruitcake called "bannock," which, according to Wikipedia, is "made from wheat flour and containing a very large quantity of raisins." It's for this reason, among myriad others, that we're incredibly pleased to be acquainted with Frightened Rabbit, an angular little indie-rock band from that same Celtic burg.
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Dismemberment Plan, Red House Painters and the Frames all come to mind in turn while listening to the group's just-released third album, The Winter of Mixed Drinks. Songs like "Swim Until You Can't See Land" and "Living in Colour" go a great way toward illustrating the record's feel and theme: a hopeful exuberance seemingly inspired by a need to leave something dark behind. Hand claps, shakers, spiky guitars and the yearning vocals of Scott Hutchison all play heavily into that vibe, which moves listeners quite deftly through a filler-less collection of emotion-bearing tunes.