Photo by James Rexroad
What to do about this RABBITS problem?
We last heard from Portland’s “noizefuck crew” [1000 Times Yes]
with their first full-length LP, Lower Forms, “a thing of cracked-out,
violent beauty” [Portland Mercury], “totally absurd… in the best
possible way” [A.V. Club], and “everything I could possibly hate
about a record rolled into one and then served on a piece of shit”
[Angry Metal Guy]. To be fair to all, All Music Guide said “in time,
one could see this making a lot more sense.”
RABBITS, however, prefers to make more non-sense.
How else to explain the necessity of using multi-hyphenated
permutations of punk, sludge, hardcore, thrash, noise, rock, and
metal to describe RABBITS? Can this trio’s casual disregard
for all that is genre-proper be explained by anything more than
ignorance, negligence, or downright maliciousness? Perhaps..
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BITES RITES, the new record on Good To Die Records
opens a deep portal into the mind of the superorganism that is
RABBITS. And something in that mind is not right. Like many
that came before them, with overnight success and worldwide
fame came parties, booze, drugs, strippers, and the predictable
descent into bitterness, jealousy, paranoia, and eventual
madness. The toll taken is obvious in both the sound and
substance of the new record. In a haze of booze and drugs
RABBITS descended down into a Felony Flats basement with
someone named Fester to ratchet up the sonic insanity and
emerged with a platter of grisly fried guitars, machines-gone-awry
drums (still no bass—how is it so HEAVY?!), and the vocals of a
deranged lunatic backed by a Family-spawned youth crew. Long
gone are the philosophical and scientific musings on man’s place
in the universe found on Lower Forms; it’s now man against man,
us against them, me against you.
And yet, the songs on BITES RITES are catchy! Listen and you
may find yourself singing “LAME!” next time you run into your
arch nemesis at a party, as you realize, “It is how much you
suck it or how much you blow.” See if you can fight the
unrelenting riff and roll of “Fight Right.” Don’t be surprised when
“Meth Valley 99”—a re-imagined Sonic Youth / Lydia Lunch
classic with the lovely and dangerous Jonnie Monroe of Fist Fite
as the female foil—makes you want to hit that pipe again.
Plus… RABBITS wears its not-metal hearts on its sleeves
with demented covers of Spacemen 3’s “2:35” and Husker Du’s
“What’s Going On.” Maybe BITES RITES doesn’t make exactly
clear what’s going on inside its head, but you may just want to
follow RABBITS to the zoo anyway. [JH]
“…sounds like it was recorded in a collapsing steelworks…” – This Is Not A Scene
“Ever wonder what would happen if you put your Butthole Surfers records through a buzz saw?” – Vancouver Weekly
“… like running headfirst into a wall until you see stars.” – Portland Mercury
“Sort of like the soundtrack to a cheap slasher film with car sex, but better.” – Seattle Weekly
“…a choppy and rhythmically alarming dig toward hell. Guitars slice and poke, eventually slowing toward a bad trip of unsettling, drowning screams. Ugh…” – Heavy Planet
“…sped up and aggro hateful, like some mean, ratty pissed off uncles of Fu Manchu from up north of the redwood/good bud curtain.” – Your Flesh