Having established themselves among Scotland’s premier cult acts, Frightened Rabbit made confident strides towards a wider audience with 2013’s major label debut Pedestrian Verse.
The logical next step would be to deliver another soaring, polished collection of heartache anthems, yet with album number five the Selkirk outfit have instead turned in their most ‘difficult’ work to date.
It can’t solely be attributed to him, but the decision to enlist The National’s Aaron Dessner as producer certainly proves significant.
Whereas previous records have hit home on first listen, Painting of a Panic Attack owes far more to the measured, slow-burning approach of Dessner’s band – a confirmed influence from the start.
In many ways, the record sounds like a hangover from mainman Scott Hutchinson’s ill-fated decision to up sticks to LA, and in that sense it’s true predecessor is his pre-move solo album Owl John.
There’s little obvious crossover potential, yet Hutchinson’s words still cut straight to the jugular, and for that reason alone this archetypal ‘grower’ looks destined to become a fan favourite. 7/10.