It’s Frightening is the second album from the six-piece indie rock band White Rabbits and is a strong follow up to their first effort, Fort Nightly. Here they have the added benefit of working with one of indie rock’s prolific trendsetters, Britt Daniel, from the band Spoon. Daniel’s produced the album and his influence is evident throughout. Nevertheless the White Rabbits do not lose their identity in the collaboration – Britt adds a bit of refinement to the wonderfully cacophonous sound but keeps the spontaneous and youthful energy that defines them well intact.
The first song “Percussion Gun” sets the stage with its rapid-fire drum beats that is an effective demonstration of the full percussive power of the two drummer band. Dueling drummers compete and collude in a collision course of cascading drums. On top of the rhythmic tempos are clangorous piano and Stephen Patterson’s tortured voice wails over the angular arrangements – his frayed and protracted vocal style is a fitting compliment to the dramatic instrumentation.
There are a lot of moody, baritone piano melodies on songs like “Lionesse” and “Midnight and I”. The former is dotted with higher pitched keys and blunted trash-can drumming – which delivers a punch-drunk listening experience. We’ve witnessed the growing infusion of afro-beat into indie rock with such innovators as Yeasayer and Vampire Weekend successfully adapting that sound into their repertoire. White Rabbit follows suit with their take on that sound which most conspicuously heard on “Right Where They Left” through the complex tribal rhythms and layered choruses.
It’s Frightening is a moody album that is carried from clamorous heights to brooding nadirs with the colliding drums and dissonant keys making it all a raucous good time.
By Shaun Flagg[Rating:4/5]