Words by Bill San Antonio
If Brooklyn-based indie outfit White Rabbits’ latest effort Milk Famous [TBD Records] sounds a lot like a Spoon record, fear not – there’s a pretty good reason for that, actually.
The band’s sophomore LP, 2009’s It’s Frightening, was produced by Spoon lead singer Britt Daniel and mixed by Mike McCarthy, who produced or co-produced four Spoon records. This time around, McCarthy led the Rabbits down the rabbit hole, furthering the same poppy, piano-driven indie sound that lauded Spoon so much success over the course of its career.
The album kicks off with its most experimental track, “Heavy Metal,” a clean shift toward the dance rock style that has infiltrated other recent indie releases as well as a logical evolution from It’s Frightening. Three tracks are borne from this sound, with “Temporary” and “Danny Come Inside” following similar song structure and tempo throughout the album. Milk Famous shines brightest on these tracks, as each member of the sextet Rabbits is free to expand upon a unique musical aesthetic full of industrialized percussion sounds, twitchy piano and guitar parts, and echoing vocals.
On tracks like “Hold It To The Fire,” “Are You Free,” “It’s Frightening,” and “Back For More,” White Rabbits singers Greg Roberts and Stephen Patterson sound so much like Thom Yorke, you’d have thought they went down to the Basement with Radiohead to record and mix their gloomy, sleepy vocals in between takes of “Reckoner” and “All I Need,” during the In Rainbows sessions.
Milk Famous comes from a band torn between two different forks in its career path—in this case, between its heavy influences Spoon and fellow TBD labelmate (for U.S. releases) Radiohead. As polished as Milk Famous appears, it is haunted by the very ghosts who helped inspire it.
© March 6th, 2012
TheWaster.com | New York City