Theo Wargo, Getty Images Black Sabbath are riding high on the fact that their new…
- Posted on Mar 18th 2010 1:32PM by Eric R. Danton
"Now we've got power," singer Scott Hutchison announced. "Let's hear it for electricity!"
Alternating current wasn't the only electricity in the room: Hutchison and his bandmates blew through 45 minutes of poignant, urgent songs, earning that rarest of SXSW accolades -- an encore -- as they channeled Hutchison's emotional turmoil into irresistible, utterly believable songs.
The Scottish band just released a new album, 'The Winter of Mixed Drinks,' which yielded much of their material. The quintet's music is heavily rhythmic, with pulsing beats propelling ringing guitars and Hutchison's yearning vocals.
Downhearted guitar arpeggios blended with a synthesizer accordion sound on last year's single 'Swim Until You Can't See Land,' and a busy round bassline pushed along the burly rocker 'Nothing Like You.'
Frightened Rabbit mixed in older songs, too, a dense curtain of organ and drums like a heartbeat framing sing-along vocals from the packed-in crowd on 'Keep Yourself Warm' as Hutchison mused about the emptiness of random sex.
After finishing a sweat-soaked set, the band returned, dedicating 'Square 9' (from its 2006 debut, 'Sings the Greys') to all the people in the room from Scotland, many of whom obliged by singing beerily along with arms draped across each other's shoulders.