Monday, May 14, 2007

Reviews:: The White Rabbits Fort Nightly

Is it possible to like a band when you don’t like the acts they are constantly compared too? At first, I would have said no, but the White Rabbits seem to have changed my mind. I don’t get the mass appeal of the Cold War Kids, the French Kicks or the Artic Monkeys and usually steer clear of any band that is compared to the Strokes. I am not into any of these bands (aside from the Strokes), but for some reason I am completely smitten with the debut White Rabbits release – Fort Nightly.

What really surprises is that they are a band I’d normally assume I’d hate. Two drummers? C’maaaan, I barely accepted two Drummonds. Yet another NY band? Well, they are technically transplants from Missouri. Somehow, despite all these reservations and baseless distaste, I’m 100% onboard with this record. I’m not sure if it is the underlying darkness of the tracks or the infused reggae/island beats that pair with the pulsing rhythms, but it hits home with me.

The band manages to keep the energy peaked for the full record, but avoids ever sounding samey. The crunchy intro to Kids on My Shoulder is intriguing, but unlike so many outfits playing the same style of music, the White Rabbits draw from a vast array of influences and experiment with different beats, tempos, textures and emotions. Instead of forcing the listener to pogo consistently, the band jumps back and forth into calypso driven beats (the cruise ship dance outro of the aptly named Tourist Trap is classic). Even in the middle of the opener, the band throws lowers the drums and adds a nice piano line before exploding back with the double drum line. As the band slows the tempo with Dinner Party, you are constantly anticipating another sonic explosion, and the restraint you feel is instead answered with horns and piano instead of another frantic drum and guitar combo.

The band seems equally comfortable playing either slow or fast, and relies on simple elements to set the tone. The plucked bass line of March of the Camel fills out the mix beautifully, but doesn’t ever dominate. The same can be said about Navy Wives.

Essentially, this record is fun and fresh and doesn’t try to be anything else. That might be exactly why it stands out from the crowd. Just listen to While We Go Dancing and prepare to be hooked.

MP3:: While We Go Dancing
In a side slice of awesome – the cast of Avenue Q (puppets and humans) reviews the lead single: Kid on my Shoulder

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Posted at 3:37 PM by ack :: 1 comments

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At 4:09 PM, Blogger Sarah did sayeth:

Listen to White Rabbits' "The Plot":


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