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While I partly agree, the quality of sound on this EP isn’t that far off from what the band did on “The Winter of Mixed Drinks.”
The beautiful thing about Frightened Rabbit is that the core of the music tends to hold up against the mechanisms of engineering. The arrangements remain thoughtful, and the narrative strong. I think this can be heard in the grittiness felt during “Boxing Night” and the subtly haunting “Off.” The intention is always there. During “Off”, Hutchinson declares: “We’ll have no telephones here, just a gentle mouth to a smitten ear. No technology here, such heady chemistry can’t be engineered.” It’s evident from these lyrics that authenticity is something that the man strives for, and that intention is especially clear in the sound on this beautiful track.
If the mixing on State Hospital hides any character from a tuning perspective, it surely makes up for that more polished quality with the fervent passion that is ever-present on this effort. Frightened Rabbit have been done a fantastic job, over the years, of sharing deeply intimate stories of love, regret and redemption—with revealing, and often stark honesty—and in my humble opinion they deserve every bit of exposure that being signed to a larger label might afford them. Best of luck to these lads.
Yawn-worthy. But here’s hoping the release brings it harder than this.