White Rabbits – Milk Famous
by Mackenzie Nichols (Journalism/Music Industry), published March 13th 2012
Moldy | Stale | Edible | Fresh | Tasty!
Upon first listen to White Rabbits’ debut album, Fort Nightly, it is easy to be drawn to their infectious rhythms and unique style. Tracks such as “Kid On My Shoulders” and “Navy Wives” seemed to channel the music of older generations, and that sensation was particularly captivating. Anticipating a similar style in the later albums, I was a bit disappointed with how the band has progressed.
When White Rabbits recruited Spoon lead Britt Daniel as the producer of their sophomore album, It’s Frightening, the band did a lot more than just use him as a major influence. White Rabbits attempted to carry that unique style seen in their debut, but also started to morph into a Spoon clone. Whether it was intentional or not, the resemblance is hard to avoid. Spoon fans will immediately picture Daniel singing for a moment instead of White Rabbits’ lead vocalists Steven Patterson and Alexander Even on the majority of their songs.
The release of Milk Famous, their third album, has some of the same features as It’s Frightening. Although they still sound dangerously close to Spoon, it is also evident that the band has started to sneak some of their own style back into their music.
With that said, Milk Famous still leaves you wishing for something more. “Heavy Metal,” the opening track, is particularly repetitive, the drum line stays consistent throughout the song along with the guitar and synths. The same goes for “Hold It To The Fire,” which contains the same drumline throughout without any variation, leaving the listener yearning for a twist. The listener becomes eager for something more substantial on tracks like “It’s Frightening,” which does have promising vocals, eery synths, and dream-like piano lines, but doesn’t really do much besides stay inside the same melodic line and end before it could have done so much more.
As I mentioned earlier, however, White Rabbits do start to inch toward a personal style on tracks such as “Back for More,” which has a groovier feel to the rhythm reminiscent of early work on Fort Nightly. “Temporary” also features a more upbeat tempo which gives a certain variety to the album that contradicts nicely with the repetitive feel of the majority of the other tracks on the album. “The Day You Won The War” is also noteworthy; it contains the kind of infectious beat seen in earlier tracks and variates with an instrumental piano part towards the end of the song. When taking the album as a whole, one can pinpoint disappointment in their work, but also moments when White Rabbits start to build a solid style, and it is in this that I remain hopeful of their work to come.
Recommended Tracks: The Day You Won the War, Back For More, Temporary