Brooklyn via Columbia, Missouri six-piece the White Rabbits rose to critical acclaim seemingly out of nowhere with their debut album, Fort Nightly. This time around, the band has enlisted Spoon frontman (and sometimes Austinite) Britt Daniel for production duties on their latest album, It’s Frightening. You’ll find his touch on a lot of the songs, but ultimately, this sophomore effort is worthy of your attention on musical merit alone.
One of the runners for song of the year, at least up to this point in time, opens the album. “Percussion Gun” with its dual drumming technique climbs into your ears as the tribal element of the song bombards you. But, this isn’t the only trick the band has, as the piano work provides a much needed backbone that allows the song to go beyond just a mere rain-dance.
You’ll find the influence of Britt Daniel marking “They Done Wrong/We Done Wrong.” This songs is reminiscent of pre-Gagagagagaga Spoon, with a bouncing bass line accompanied by a meandering piano. The guitar stutters along the song as the vocals arrive in that croon come falsetto that Britt uses to perfection. Now, we’re not assuming that this is just a knock-off because the song definitely warrants repeated listens; we’re just stating you can find Britt’s fingerprints on it.
“Comapny I Keep” is the slow summer jam come early. It’s a mostly acoustic number with light percussion walking along the backbone of the song. It’s the warmth of they lyrical content here that makes the song ultimately rewarding. Sure, it might not be the most exciting of this batch of tunes, but you’ll definitely find this as one of the ones worth putting on your summer mixtapes.
One of the things that’s lacking from this album, however, is a little bit of pacing. It’s not that there is poor pacing in so far as the organization of the songs, rather that the majority of the songs don’t seem to have too much movement to them, often becoming entirely too subdued for their own good. Oddly, the only songs that have movement seem to rely upon the drum stylings of “Percussion Gun” with just a softer quality to them.
Still, there is something to be said for the quiet presence of this album. It provides for the easy listening experience now that you need to focus on new projects. It’s an album full of songs constructed precisely for headphones and mellow moments in this time of your life. A decent effort, though much stronger on the front end.
Download: White Rabbits – They Done Wrong/We Done Wrong [MP3]