RABBITS ‘Untoward’ LP/DD 2014

RABBITS 'Untoward'Apparently they are so intense, the name needs to be written in capitals, which seems quite fitting if you listen to the fury that is RABBITS. Described in their bio as debauchery-fueled ruckus, intoxicating hangover nightmares, scathing audio beatings you can’t help but ask for repeat doses of, one can hardly ask for more.

The trio from Portland, Oregon, used to play in bands like Angel Hair, The VSS, Hutch and an assortment of others from the West Coast. They derive inspiration from bands like Melvins, Jesus Lizard and The Butthole Surfers, which is overly clear in the sound of their Untoward. That they pull if off well, shows in the fact it was even album of the week on Revolver magazine.

Pummeling riffs open up Ever Mind, with gruff barks from the vocal section, it launches in a crushing session of noise. That pummelling forms the actual easy part of the song, where words are still audible, not the mad growling you hear a second later when the tune becomes a harsh mess of distorted sludge. The combination of sludge and primitive punk shifts gears into a mid-pace thrashy track on Pack Up Your Shit. Like deconstruction equipment at high speed, the furious energy of the band (whether it’s booze infused or whatever mad shit they are on) breaks through all walls in three and a half minutes. The music feels raw and dirty, filthy I would even say.

That doesn’t get any less, which is a good thing with RABBITS. So Fake It’s Real feels like an accusation against the whole plastic, fantastic world that surrounds us. In complete semi-ironic, spit in your face style of these Americans. Though lacking the intelligence of Grinderman and the cold fury of Whores, one could argue that the sound is definitely in the same sort of cross-genre noise business. The simplistic, primitive rage of songs like Reek And Ye Shall Find, which is a raunchy droning trip of six minutes, has a class of its own that reconnects with the most primitive punk bands you can think of.

An Odd Coloration holds close to a throbbing bass line that gives the song its focal point. The barked curses and shouts of the vocals and the tribal rhythm revolve around it for a bit more than two minutes. Then starts the most hypnotizing song of RABBITS, which is the weird, hammering Like You A Lot. A continued beat pounds onward for about seven and a half minutes, after which it melts away into a screaming guitar work and a wall of noise towards the end. That same beat resurfaces and continues its crushing work towards the end of this record.

RABBITS have made an album that is like a swamp of dirty noise, sludgy and raw but mainly very tasty and enjoyable for when you need something with little subtle moments and even less thoughts.

Label: Lamb Unlimited
Band Links: Official | Facebook | Bandcamp

Scribed by: Guido Segers