White Rabbits - It's Frightening
White Rabbits are a sextet from Brooklyn renowned for producing some bluesy alt.rock tunes not dissimilar to the Cold War Kids. The band contains two drummers and three singers with a penchant for swapping around instruments between songs, keeping the sound fresh without deviating too far from their foundations.
These are primarily built around a tribal and dependable rhythm section, layering upon these the flamboyance and complexities of deft guitar work and vocal acrobatics. Sometimes pushing into the higher ranges with tinges of Buckley or Yorke, they achieve an emotive and unrestrained delivery less concerned with a desire to be technically perfect.
Coupled with a relaxed attitude that comes across throughout It’s Frightening, their formula is a predictable but effective one. Sure, they’ve got some big tunes but they are restrained enough to avoid being forced unwillingly into anthems. Pianos feature heavily, darker low notes provide a melancholy grounding and avoiding the temptation to push into the light with attempts at euphoria. It’s also refreshing to see the album's structure has been so well thought through: there is a clear start, middle and end and it’s a more enjoyable experience when fully assembled than the odd track popping up on shuffle.
There isn’t much here that is going to challenge expectations or break new ground. With a ready-made fanbase for overcast, but from-the-heart, indie that White Rabbits will naturally attract, this is not going to disappoint those that bought 2008’s Fort Nightly and it’s interesting enough to attract new blood. If you want something left of centre this may be too pedestrian, but if it’s a reliable, solid and energetic take on the whole crestfallen minstrel thing you won’t go far wrong with this.
Pull this rabbit out from the hat.