Album Reviews

Album Review: White Rabbits – It’s Frightening (EMI/Mute)

By | Published on Thursday 28 January 2010

White Rabbits

For a band so reliant on Jamie Levinson’s skilled, thoughtful drumming (and Matthew Clark’s, too, on occasion, when one kit just isn’t enough), it’s odd to find this rhythm section somewhat of an afterthought when it comes to the production on White Rabbit’s second full-length effort. Instead of the velveteen lush of fellow New Yorkers The National or Interpol, who have built their own dark sounds around similar tight beats, on ‘It’s Frightening’ what should have been the domineering force to drive this album is reduced to a weak, tinny almost amateur sound. Which lets an otherwise promising long player down.

In fact opening track ‘Percussion Gun’ almost feels like a parody of their genre, despite the clear imagination involved, with an otherwise faultless array of melodies and musicianship not enough to turn this sound around. Said talent delivers better on ‘Rudie Fails’ and ‘Right Where They Left’, which take exciting twists through the world of American indie, blending the Okkervil River ecstasy with the cornfield sunshine of The Shins, all augmented with a more natural regimentation akin to the aforementioned Interpol. And the rest of what is here is enough to make the album just about work as a whole, despite the obvious, outlaid grievances and paradoxes.

But with a bit of polish, this could have given White Rabbits their teeth. Instead, right now it seems that carrot’s just a bit too tough to get through. TM

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