Tuesday, May 19, 2009

White Rabbits' Frighteningly Good Follow-Up

By Evan Rytlewski
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The common knock against the White Rabbits?

"They're derivative."

My retort?

"So what?" The Walkmen may have mined this territory first, but White Rabbits are the ones coming away with more gold.

On their second outing, It's Frightening, White Rabbits wear their influences on their album sleeve—that the record was produced by Spoon's Britt Daniel and released on Radiohead's record label tells you pretty much everything you need to know. Daniel lends the record all Spoon's trademarks, from the staccato piano stabs to the studio clatter and chatter that, with the terse percussion, forms the vertebrae that binds these loose arrangements. The Radiohead influence is more implicit, manifesting itself in the clenched-jaw falsetto of Stephen Patterson and the stark, restless tone of the guitars that haunt him. [The album also benefits from Spoon's trademark brevity, clocking in at a muscular 35 minutes.]

Incidentally, the group played the album's mighty first single, "Percussion Gun," ­ last night on "The Late Show with David Letterman," which has been on a hot streak with musical guests. Gotta love how singer Patterson even borrows Britt Daniel's haircut and Thom Yorke's hand spasms:

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