Frightened Rabbit performs on Friday, Sept. 18, at 9 p.m., advance tickets sold out; 771-1421 or www.theindependentsf.com.
While the name Frightened Rabbit conjures up disheartening images of timid waifs lamenting lost love with Hallmark diction, this Scottish act packs quite a bite. Sure, the group uses an acoustic guitar accompanied by a trembling voice and has ample references to heartbreak — but the sense of melancholy, desperation, and perseverance packed into its songs is too earnest to resist. The band's sophomore release, 2008's The Midnight Organ Fight, merges singer-songwriter sensitivities with ardent pop aggression. At the forefront, singer and guitarist Scott Hutchinson spits his witty narratives with poetic inclination and a raw vibrato howl. Alienated, anxious, and battered, this Rabbit is scared, but still has plenty of fight left in it.