Let’s Turn Something Else On
Like many genres of music that have come into popularity and then fallen away, indie rock was interesting in the beginning. As ideas get rehashed over and over again by unoriginal acts who see themselves fitting into a niche rather than creating one for themselves, a lot of the appeal is disappearing. The Midnight Organ Fight, Frightened Rabbit’s sophomore effort, feels, sounds and works like so many other records that have been released in the last five years.Just as an experiment, get together with your friends and have everyone bring their laptops. One friend can play Beirutâ€šÃ„Ã´s Gulag Orkestar for the horn sounds and thumping Civil War snare. Have another friend play Bright Eyes’ I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning for the 13-year-old-girl emo lyrics, country vibe, and intonation that turns â€šÃ„ÃºGodâ€šÃ„Ã¹ into gahwd with a plugged nose and a touch of vibrato. Then have two friends play The Arcade Fire’s Funeral and Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, as those two records seem to form the mold into which so many bands pour their work. Frightened Rabbit’s tweak on the formula is something unmistakablyâ€šÃ„Â¶Scottish? Counting Crows country? No matter, the results are altogether inconsequential. See how similar The Midnight Organ Fight sounds to the Flaming Lips Zaireeka-style mess suggested above.
ame It’s not all bad, though. The band members seem like talented people; the drummer in particular plays with real authority. Band founder Scott Hutchinson always crafts a rich guitar tone and can really churn out an indie-pop hook, but the question remains, “”Why is this guy trying to be Jeff Mangum?”” At one point you needed only to dress in thrift store clothing, play accordion or zither or some other weird shit, and make records in your basement to be considered “”good”” “”indie.”” We need higher standards than that now and certain bands are pushing the envelope, but others like Frightened Rabbit are hindering independent music’s growth.