White Rabbits - It's Frightening

by Rich Morris Rating:6 Release Date:2010-01-25

Another month, another release from a Brooklyn band. First track 'Percussion Gun' begins with an two-man drum beat nicked straight from 'C30 C60 C90 Go' by Bow Wow Wow but Afrobeat isn't really their thing. Rather, think Jet if they suddenly discovered concepts like subtlety and nuance. White Rabbits originally emerged from Missouri, which might explain why they have a nice line in rootsy, crunchy tunes with sweet country boy vocals. 'Company I Keep' and 'Rudie Fails' are urban cowboy anthems, while 'The Salesman (Tramp Life)' with its sparse Television-like guitar, throbs with the excitement of a first taste of scruffy downtown life.

On the downside, it's all a little trad rockist and at times veers too close to the AOR riffing of Kings of Leon. But White Rabbits are often saved by their grasp of dynamics. 'Midnight' gets its mixture of cranky blues and sad-eyed revere just right and 'Lionesse' evolves from what sounds like a free jazz improve session recorded in a subway into a rock tune that's both heavily percussive and genuinely experimental. At its best, It's Frightening sounds like The Velvet Underground if they somehow timewarped into the 21st century and decided to lay down some tunes.

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