Lately, I cannot get enough of White Rabbits. I am not accustomed to falling so hard and fast for a band. I usually like to take things slow, get to know a band, and listen casually before things get so serious that I would devote a whole blog entry to them. I am beginning to fear an unhealthy attachment forming. But, as with Alice falling down the rabbit hole, I shall surrender myself to the experience (mind alteration not required).
Although they released their debut album, Fort Nightly, back in 2007, the White Rabbits are brand new to me. I bought both the Fort Nightly album, and their most recent release, It’s Frightening, a couple of months ago after hearing some sample songs on their website. I instantly loved their songs, and although I have racked my brain for comparisons to other bands, I really can’t think of any.
The White Rabbits’ sound is fresh and unique; it is drum and bass driven rock that incorporates piano, guitar and - although I cannot find it credited anywhere - I swear I can hear brass on some songs. Although they mix elements that might be compared to other bands, when it comes together, the result is a sound all their own. The strongly percussive style is very tribal, and that is the foundation of their songs. Most of the percussive sounds are deep, but there is diversity in that they also range from snare drums to shakers, giving their songs a “world beat” flavor. The piano is a prominent instrument, but unlike a band like Coldplay, where the piano drives the melody of a song, the White Rabbits use the piano as a punctuation, to highlight the other instruments. Its role is simplistic, hard-hitting, and used for emphasis.
What I really appreciate about the White Rabbits is that it doesn’t sound like a lot of studio magic went into the production of their albums. It sounds like six guys hammering out authentic jams. The lead vocal has a slightly raspy quality, and the background harmonies are strong. Lyrically, they are OK, but it is really their musicianship that makes the White Rabbits an exciting band. Check out their Letterman performance of “Percussion Gun” below. I look forward to following the path of their career to whatever Wonderland it may lead.