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Thursday, 30 December 2010

Frightened Rabbit 7" box set

So, it's the end of December already. Christmas has come and gone and Santa, the lovely man that he is, got me some new vinyl. Wasn't that nice of him?

So, as the title suggests, the vinyl in question is a Frightened Rabbit singles box, comprising all of the singles released from their latest album The Winter Of Mixed Drinks (an excellent album indeed). Fortuitously, it was only one post ago that I tried to explain my love for this band, so I don't need to go into that again. Go back to that post if you want to learn why Frabbit are amazing. Let's go straight into vinyl.

So this is the front of the box. I really, really like it. It's fairly retro-looking and understated. The green of the card reminds me of those card folders every English teacher had with marking inside. I hope you know the ones I mean and I don't just sound mad. There are, as it says in the bottom left corner, 4 singles in this box. Let's go through them in release order (kind of), because chronological ordering makes me happy.

So, number one. This is Swim Until You Can't See Land, a lovely jangly summer song. The artwork's really nice, as well. The double-barred cross features in all of the artwork from the album. It's a nice point of continuity, and makes for a good logo. The kind of thing I'd get tattooed on me if I was less of a huge pansy.

Black vinyl again, as with every single in this box. However, I'm going to do a picture for each single so you can see the continuity of the font used on every single both front and back, and the similarity of the labels. I like that the art keeps to an overall theme. It's all similar without being samey, which I think is commendable. The B-side to this single is Fun Stuff, a song I really really like. It's a lot more melancholy than the A-side, kind of like a bridge between the sadness of The Midnight Organ Fight (the previous album) and the more upbeat tone of The Winter Of Mixed Drinks. Fun Stuff is good stuff.

Single two, Nothing Like You. More lovely artwork, and another lovely artwork. It's among the most positive of Frabbit's songs and probably one of my favourites. There's also, slightly tangentially, a good story involving the video that accompanies the song. So the label, Fat Cat, decide the band should have a flashy modern video to try and get it played on music channels. The result was this. It's fairly dull, as I'm sure you'll agree. The band, instead of just accepting it, rejected the video and decided to make their own instead. Recruiting some of their own fans to help out, they made this. It's incredible, I can't watch it and not smile. There's a chance it's my favourite video ever. You should definitely watch it.

Annnnnd here's some more black vinyl for you. As you can see, they used the same font on the back of the cover as they did with the Swim vinyl, and the labels are visually similar. The B-side here is a song called Learned Your Name, which is an unusual one. It's just shy of 3 minutes, and it's very sparse. It never really builds up and then sort of... ends. I'm really unsure if I like it or not. And that's about all I can say.

Single 3, The Loneliness And The Scream. Awesome, awesome song. It's got some a great "whoah-oh" part in it, which is clearly what all good songs need. The artwork's really nice as well. It'd be my favourite of the box if it wasn't for the fourth single, which you will see soon.

More black vinyl, more of that same lovely font. The B-side here is a cover of Don't Go Breaking My Heart (a song by Elton John and Kiki Dee) done with the lead singer of The Hold Steady. I've not managed to listen to it yet, but it's got potential. Craig Finn (the man from The Hold Steady) has a really distinctive voice, and I'm looking forward to hearing him and Scott together on one song.

And here is single four, Living in Colour. Another great song, the kind of song you instinctively tap your foot to. Now, I said I'd do them in chronological order. Technically, this was released as a digital single before The Loneliness And The Scream was, but this is the first physical edition of it and it is only available in this box. The reason for this is that every cover has been hand-drawn by Scott, the lead singer of Frightened Rabbit. COOL! I'm pretty sure the design is the same on every one, but it's still pretty ace. I like the actual design, done in crayon on thick card.

The B-side to the vinyl is a remix of the song, which I haven't heard yet and, frankly, nor am I that bothered about hearing. Remixes don't do an awful lot for me so I'll probably only listen to it once or twice. The back of the cover is plain, apart from a stamp in the corner that just reads "495". This is the number of the vinyl (and thus the set), which is out of 500. Seemingly the orders have been sent out at random through the numbers, considering this was a fairly quickly placed order and the set is still in stock on the Fat Cat website. It's a good number, I like numbers that end in a 5 or 0.

I love this box. It looks awesome, the songs are great and it's been put together well. Good work, Fat Cat and lovely Scottish Frabbit.

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