White Rabbits - Fort Nightly
This reviewer has some competition. No matter what the quality of my writings and combination of words, I have been surpassed. Under the “Press” section of the White Rabbit’s website awaits fifteen reviews, all finely crafted and well-thought out—to an insane degree even. They are by Mrs. Doyle’s 8th grade class. Presented with two tracks from the White Rabbit’s debut album Fort Nightly, the 8th grade students were invited to write a quick review of the tracks. What they consist of is a harsh, fragmented sentence declaring that the tracks have “good rythm” (ah, our wonderful school system) but they “did not like the lyrics.” They are quite harsh, except for the indier-than-thou child arrogantly declaring that he/she has “definitely heard this song before.” Well, the New York group’s eerie take on indie rock may not be made for 8th grade ears, but they were surely made for mine. Not quite achieving the “honky-tonk calypso” style the group alludes to on their MySpace page, their music is none-the-less a deceiving mixture of creeping shadows and shouting ringmasters in a dirty 19th century circus. And you totally get what I’m talking about right? Tracks like “The Plot” are damnably catchy, but send a shiver down the spine. Whether it’s the scratchy yelps of the vocals or the unassuming instrumentals, the White Rabbits never quite let you feel comfortable within their den of rhythm. Like a non-drugged Ad Astra Per Aspera or more perky 20 Minute Loop, the White Rabbits reference some calypso influences in “I Used To Complain Now I Don't.” Their song titles allude to Decemberists (“March of the Camels,” “Navy Wives”) albums, but their music is a clear departure. Off-kilter, seemingly unplanned and always a delicious surprise, the White Rabbits’ debut Fort Nightly is a romp through dirty 19th century streets, elegantly decked-out whore houses, and Mrs. Doyle’s classroom of harsh 8th grade critics. What more could you ask for?
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