Monday, how dare you greet me with such a forcefully rude nature. Every week you Kramer your way into my serenity. Reader, rerhaps this is your experience with Monday’s as well and perhaps I have something that can help.
I remember back in 2004, not when they premiered of course, but back in 2004 with Pinback released Summer in Abaddon I had a hard time listening to much else. “Non-Photo Blue,” “Syracuse,” “Bloods on Fire,” were my soundtrack. I didn’t understand why this wasn’t everywhere, how TV, Movies and commercials hadn’t crowned this band like they later did with Alexi Murdoch, Sleigh Bells and most recently The Lumineers. Then The OC came along.
Pinback, hasn’t released a full length since 2007’s Autumn of the Seraphs. However, last week the buzz picked back up. In promotion of their October 16th full length release Information Retrieved, Pinback, dropped “Proceed to Memory” on us. It’s an upbeat track, and as Rob Crow’s voice reaches an emotional apex at 1:55 “Proceed To Memory” took me back to those chilly wet sidewalks of Boston, Massachusetts trying my damnedest to avoid getting hit by the speeding Harvard Medical bound BWM as it circled The Fens on my way to work.
At 3:09 and 3:16, like Jimmy Fallon breaking character, which is really just saying “like Jimmy Fallon being Jimmy Fallon,” Crow’s voice breaks, or quivers, maybe it’s even a slight laugh – I’m not sure what it is, but it’s imperfect, and I really, really like it even if it’s an illusion. It’s as if he lost himself for the slightest of moments in his own music and something natural, something imperfect came out. I’m looking forward to listening to more of this over and over again once October 16th comes.
Here’s “Proceed to Memory”
Admittedly I joined on the Frightened Rabbit wagon very, very late. Not because I didn’t enjoy 2007’s Sing The Grey’s or 2008’s The Midnight Organ Fight and Liver! Lung! FR! It’s that I didn’t even hear the Scotsman until 2010’s The Winter of Mixed Drinks. That’s not easy to admit by the way, but it’s honest.
So here we are, it’s 2012, the Wisconsin Badgers are favored to win the Big 10, an imprisoned Pussy Riot is making international headlines, and Frightened Rabbit is set to release State Hospital, a 5 track EP on September 24th. The title track, “State Hospital” is from their next full length and the other four strictly belong to the approaching EP. However, Frightened Rabbit assure us that the other four were in the running for the full length release. In their own words, “Some songs just don’t fit in to an album, but we thought these four still deserved to be given more than simply ‘B-side’ status.”
“State Hospital” starts with Scott Hutchison sounding, arguably, and I will argue this, his most Scottish. The accent is out in full force as is the heavy story he’s telling.
A young girl is born into poverty to a neglectful mother and never had a fair chance at a good life.
“Brought home to breathe smoke in arms of her mother with a blunt kitchen knife
Who just lays in a submissive position.“
She leaves and runs to the arms of a young boy her own age who treats her terribly. Physically assaulting her.
“And in the limp three years of board schooling she’s accustomed to hearing that she could never run far.”
A little older, and now away from her adolescent assaulter, she finds herself once again in an abusive relationship, this time with an older man in an effort to stay afloat.
“Brought home to keep warm in the arms of a plumber, bloody and balding. Who just needs a spine today again too, a chest for the head and hand for the holding.”
Intermittent all the while, the chorus haunts,
“Her heart beats like a breeze block thrown down the stairs. Her blood is thicker than concrete forced to be brave she was, born into a grave.”
But, Scott won’t allow her take the leap from the roof she climbs at the end of the video. Instead he talks her down,
“But if blood is thicker than concrete, all of it is not lost.”
And he cries out,
“All is not lost
All is not lost
All is not lost
All is not lost”