White Rabbits: It’s Frightening

It is increasingly difficult to stand out in the overcrowded pop scene these days, but leave it to Missouri transplants White Rabbits (they’ve since relocated to Brooklyn, much like fellow Midesterners Locksley) to take a trick from .38 Special’s playbook and turn it on its ear: two drummers! The similarities end there, though; It’s Frightening, the second long-player from the White Rabbits, takes those two drummers – think Adam and the Ants, not the Doobie Brothers – and frames them with singer Stephen Patterson’s barroom piano and some sparse guitar work to create the kind of angular pop that you’d expect from the bands on the other side of the pond. Britt Daniel’s presence here as producer is no surprise, as the band’s “They Done Wrong/We Done Wrong” sounds like a lost Spoon track, and Single of the Year candidate “Percussion Gun,” armed to the teeth with handclaps and double-decker harmonies, is delightfully quirky and insanely catchy. That unusual approach to their drum tracks could prove to be an albatross – ask Guster about that one – but for the moment, all is quite well with the White Rabbits. (TBD 2009)

White Rabbits MySpace page

  

Seen Your Video: White Rabbits, “Percussion Gun”

Ladies and gentlemen, the line for Single of the Year starts here.

I’m frankly shocked that these guys are from New York. American bands, particularly young ones, don’t write songs like this anymore, and they certainly don’t use arrangements like this. I had these guys pegged for a UK act all the way, with the Adam & the Ants-style percussion, hand claps and old-fashioned piano. Maybe the arrangement was producer Britt Daniel’s idea, who knows. His band Spoon isn’t exactly playing the American game, either. No matter who’s responsible for putting it together, it’s damn good, and had me racing for the band’s MySpace page. How about that, the other tunes are good, too. Time to hit up the publicist for a review copy. (The band’s album, It’s Frightening, comes out May 19.)

So the tune is definitely a keeper. Now about about the video? Tastefully simple, a rarity these days. The camera spins around – and sometimes above – a circular display of white lights that surrounds the band. That’s it. I bet they shot it in an afternoon, then hit the pub, while the director popped a couple Dramamines and went to bed. Nicely done, lads.

  

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