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a.jpgWhite Rabbits
It’s Frightening
TBD Records
8/10

Six pieces to a puzzle: Alexander Even, Adam Russell, Matthew Clark, Jamie Levinson, Gregory Roberts and Stephen Patterson all comprise the band, White Rabbits. They appeared on the David Lettermen Show and are about to release their second album entitled It’s Frightening on May 19.

The record opens with “Percussion Gun,” an upbeat song that is heavy on, you guessed it- percussion. The pounding of the piano keys add to the drama and the vocals are versatile. This song would be great to hear live in all its powerful glory. Even the choir brings the fire. Basically, they shot it, killed it and brought it back to life again. In fact, they recently shot a music video for this song, so be on the look out for it.

Originally from Columbia, Missouri, this six-piece act makes beautiful music together in the song, “Rudie Fails.” Every instrument is utilized in such an outstanding way. It really shows that each band member makes an important contribution to this record and shows their willingness to make it into something special.

The song “Lionesse” is slow at first, but it builds like a tense movie. The piano makes a haunting appearance and the vocals are a bit spooky as well. This stand-out track really focuses on the instrumentation that leads to a steady melody and interesting keyboarding at the end. Another intriguing thing to point out is that it has an improvised feeling to it, yet it’s subtle in all the right places.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is the track entitled “The Salesman (Tramp Life).” It’s a powerful story that depicts a man’s struggle, as told by his own point of view. “Recognize Me” gets repeated many times, but it’s not irritating. It just reaffirms, in a very profound way, the theme of longing to be accepted into society. For some reason, there is a little bit of U2 in the aura of this track. White Rabbits have so much potential with music, especially with the stuff they are dishing out with this record. Also, the instruments compliment the vocals so well.

If you are looking for the same vibe as “Lionesse,” then “Midnight and I” fits like a glove. This time, it’s a full-on track complete with lyrics and even funky guitar effects towards the end. While it may be a sweet lullaby for you night owls and Ambien-takers, this song is worth staying up for and listening to all the way through to the end. The echoes sound creepy, but it’s just part of the crystal clear vocals that just do so much for this song.

Right off the bat “Right Where They Left” has a funky beat and comes out strong. The guitars are great and it feels like a western at times. Even the piano adds to the ambiance. It showcases White Rabbits’ ability to experiment with different moods and instrument experimentation.

The vibrations and intensity of the song “Leave It At The Door” are very strong. Listeners should not listen to it too high because it may cause ear damage. This might be exaggerated, but it’s a fair warning when it comes to a brief moment in the song. However, the song stays cryptic and slow- the polar opposite to the opening track of the album.

White Rabbits’ sophomore effort had the Brooklyn-based band team up with Britt Daniel, the lead singer and guitarist of Spoon. It was the first time the Spoon front man produced music for another band. Also, Mike McCarthy, an Austin-based studio producer took the mixing responsibilities for this record. From the sound of it, everything came out so fluid and White Rabbits will be supporting a quality record when they kick off their tour in New York next month.

–Gail Navarro