The White Rabbits
By Eileen Tilson
The White Rabbits must be exhausted. After extensive
touring with the likes of Spoon, The Walkmen and Tokyo Police Club, and
festival stops at Lollapalooza, Glastonbury, Sasquatch, and signing with TBD
Records (U.S. home to Radiohead, Other Lives and Hatcham Social) the Brooklyn based
six-piece returned to their makeshift basement studio to record their second
full-length album, It’s Frightening. And if there is anything in a name,
it is frightening what a little life on the road will do to the quality of music
from a new band. Though some of It’s Frightening’s brilliance must be
accredited to producer Britt Daniel (of Spoon), whose unique melodies
heavily influence this beat driven album, the kaleidoscope of sounds blend
brilliantly into an interesting auditory experience.
The album opens with vibrating tribal drums on
“Percussion Gun,” which sets the tone for the rest of the album's heavy use of
pounding pianos and dualing drum kits. As opposed to other guitar-driven rock,
the album’s key word is polyrhythms, sometimes becoming redundant and without
climax; Gregory Roberts and Stephen Patterson's vocals are the only
instruments that aren't slaves to the beat, whose synergy fuses together
perfectly in this chaotic mess.
Daniel's ghost lingers particularly strongly on "Lionesse," "They Done Wrong/We
Done Wrong" and "The Salesman (Tramp Life)," which casual fans could could
confuse with actual Spoon songs.
The album cover is a picture of a drummer and a
piano player colliding; this violent imagery holds true throughout the music,
ebbing and flowing with hard, Queens of the Stone Age-esque pounding, to spooky
pianos, to dreamy reverb in songs like “Company I Keep.” By the end of the 35
minutes, you come to see how much Daniel’s fingerprints are all over this
record, but that doesn’t mean that The White Rabbits are not coming into their own.
In fact, they seem to be eager young prodigies, whose masterpiece is still yet
The White Rabbits play Variety Playhouse tonight, August 20, with The Fiery Furnaces.