by Ryan Foley
human behavior dictates you walk backward for one of two reasons:
You’re either arguing with someone or acting like a dunderhead. In “My
Backwards Walk,” Frightened Rabbit vocalist Scott Hutchison is
squabbling, all right, over personal shortcomings and relationship
gaffes. Problem is, at any moment you expect the Glasgow native to
stumble backward over puerile countrymen The Yummy Fur.
strives to be a love/romance decoder on the level of Travis frontman
Fran Healy, but is undone by his own wink-wink/nudge-nudge phrasing.
“Keep Yourself Warm” is a gnomic look at those who ﬁll the craving for
long-term companionship with carnal pleasures—until the lines regarding
“points of entry” and “ﬁnding love in a hole” arrive. Tempering
gravitas with humor is neat, but the best (hello, Morrissey) did it
with more subtlety and ﬁnesse.
tracks such as “I Feel Better” and “Fast Blood” are the Futureheads by
way of Gang of Four: guitars that are cleaned of effects, cold-blooded,
circular. Frightened Rabbit tack on bleating horns (“I Feel Better”),
lap steel guitar (“Good Arms vs. Bad Arms”) and jocular electronic
beats (“My Backwards Walk”), recognizing that an inﬁnity of
monochromatic melodies would exhaust even the most persevering. The
Midnight Organ Fight has its moments, but ultimately it portrays a band
going forward in reverse.