White Rabbits – It’s Frightening [Album Review]

by Woody on May 1, 2009

I love Spoon so when word leaked that their frontman, Brit Daniel, was going to be producing the follow up to the White Rabbits stellar debut, I got more than a little geeked up.‚  For my money Spoon is the most consistent, if not the best, American indie band going right now.‚  As for the Rabbits, Fort Nightly registered as one of the more exciting records of 2007, uniquely flavored by its steamrolling and varied percussion, charged piano and terrifically ragged lead vocals.‚  The Rabbits perfectly wove all of these elements together to create a great record with a charming recklessness that seemed to offer up some punk characteristics.

Their new album is due out in mid-May and after one listen, it’s obvious that any review of It’s Frightening will not do it justice without acknowledging the influence that Daniel has had in the studio.‚  In fact, go no farther than the third song, “They Done Wrong/We Done Wrong” and you quickly recognize that it easily could have been lifted off Girls Can Tell.‚  The Spoon recipe is wonderfully simple and stripped down to feature jagged guitar riffs that seemingly stab at you from every direction, paired with drums pushed forward, solid keyboards and the tremendous vocals of Daniel.‚  And it is all here on this record, absent Daniel’s vocals of course.

So, what about the sum of the parts?‚ ‚  Well, this is a pretty good record, but in my opinion a little too much may have been stripped away from what made the Rabbits and Fort Nightly so interesting.‚  When the band strikes the right balance such as on “Lionesse,” it really works, but the end result lacks some of the charm and recklessness of the debut.‚  It’s Frightening fails to scale the heights of Fort Nightly. The best song on this record, “Right Where They Left,” bears the closest resemblance to its predecessor and reminds the listener what made the debut so compelling.‚  At other times, some of those Rabbit characteristics seem pasted in, almost as though they were an afterthought resulting in a lack of cohesiveness.

If you’re not familiar with White Rabbits, this is a very good record and you’ll become a fan. If like me, you are already a fan and were hoping for something groundbreaking from the combination of White Rabbits and Brit Daniel, you may find that this album falls a bit short. Assuming you temper your expectations, you’ll still enjoy the album.

White Rabbits – Percussion Gun

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Greg May 3, 2009 at 7:42 pm

Wow, that cover is indeed pretty frightening. May might not be so bad after all.

Woody May 4, 2009 at 8:48 am

The cover is a perfect example of truth in advertising b/c its the percussion and keys that really stand out on this disc. Lionesse is a killer tune as is the single Percussion Gun

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: