This week, RockAngel’s Weekly Radar brings you White Rabbits and…The Subjects? Normally I wouldn’t be so quick to write about a band that’s already made it to the satellite radio rotation like White Rabbits, but after seeing both of these bands live last night, I have their musical energy oozing out of me and straight into the Rock and Roll Report.
Of course, after saying that Last Night’s Vice was the best thing out of Missouri ever, I am forced to eat my words as White Rabbits hail from that same state (though now they are based in Brooklyn) and rock just as hard. Originally seduced by the lead track Percussion Gun from their new album It’s Frightening, I explored the rest of it and realized this band is really on to something. With a smooth Spoon sort of feel (hmmm, may have something to do with the creative hand of Brit Daniel on this album) and a rugged Cold War Kids intensity, White Rabbits manage to create something that is nothing short of music heaven. They put more creativity into one song than most put into a whole album.
So after knowing all of this, I head to a live show at the Casbah in San Diego that I am hopeful will be something to write about, and I got more than I ever could have asked for. I got there in time for the openers, and unfortunately for me, the first band of the night had a singer that was trying to be Luke Pritchard from The Kooks, only he wasn’t British, and I wasn’t buying it. So I had another drink, and prayed to the musical gods…
Next up was a band I had never heard of-The Subjects. I was a bit skeptical of this 4 piece flannel-clad band who claim to reign from Brooklyn, but look more like they come from a laid back hippie town. Don’t let their look fool you though. Initially I was getting a jam band kind of vibe, but then they pulled in all the creative tricks of Indie’s best and even threw in…reggae? Is that what I heard? Yes. My musical companion for the night heard it also. As he put it, “it sounds like these guys sit around a room, possibly filled with some kind of mind altering substance, saying, ‘yeah, that sounds cool, let’s try it”. Their influence was diverse and their execution was flawless. A lot of “ooohs” and “ahhhs”, some great harmonies, a touch of a synth, and a solid rock band sound fused with Chamber Pop creativity all came together and made me remember why I liked to catch the openers. To top it off, I talked to the singer for a minute afterwards and he couldn’t be nicer. I wish the best for these guys, because they definitely deserve it. Check out their myspace…but realize that the quality of these songs just doesn’t do them justice. Preorder their album from the page, or wait until it’s picked up by iTunes or Lala, so you can really get a sense of what these guys are capable of.
Now for the main event…White Rabbits hit the stage, and they don’t waste any time warming up the crowd. The drumbeat is prevalent …wait, the drum beats are KILLING it! Yes, they had two drummers…and so the percussion orgasm begins. The band plays with an energy that is unsurpassed by anyone I’ve seen and the singer eases in with a smooth intensity that pierces even the toughest exterior to reach deep down into your musical soul. And apparently, no one told the backup vocals that they had to be inferior to the main ones because they brought depth to the many instrumental layers that were already there and they went down as smooth as a good scotch (or good red wine for those of us that don’t drink scotch).
One of the key elements to this band is the pairing of the intense drumbeats with the simplistic beauty of a piano (keys). These guys are no strangers to a good progressive buildup and they use these elements, in addition to the electric guitar, acoustic guitar, textured vocals, and even tambourine (who knew it would be so important?) to drive you to a musical climax that is sure to propel them to the stardom they deserve.
By the time they got to their single “Percussion Gun”, I didn’t think it could get any better, but of course, I was wrong. The live performance of this song should go down in history. Even if you weren’t a fan before, you couldn’t walk away from that song without being completely blown away. Check out the video posted on their myspace page to get an idea. Words cannot describe their performance of this song; it was nothing sort of a radioactive spiritual experience that left the crowd glowing in the aftermath.
They always say that in the law of attraction, they say to “act the part”, even if you’re not there yet, and these guys go out every night and play like they have made it big…no matter how small the venue. Check ‘em out now, while you still can see them at a small venue, because these guys are headed straight to the top.
White Rabbits on lala:
Fort Nightly (2007 release)