Nice’n’Sleazy, Glasgow, Fri 2 May
Frightened Rabbit, Fleet Foxes, Sam Sparro – there’s a veritable woodland of new bands and artists out there at the moment, so what sets New Yorkers White Rabbits apart?
The fact that they subscribe to the ‘if in doubt, get a second drummer’ school of thought for one thing, the dual onslaught of their two sticksmiths giving considerable power to the ‘honky-tonk calypso’ sound. Such a self-styling is mostly tongue in cheek, but worldly rhythms do form the epicentre of their appeal, with Caribbean, Afrobeat and even jazz motifs showing up in their tunes next to more conventional rock patterns.
With their preppy getup and chiming piano White Rabbits have inevitably been compared to fellow sprightly Big Apple dwellers Vampire Weekend. Given the euphoric rush of ‘The Plot’ and ‘While We Go Dancing’, and all the wanton instrument swapping, Arcade Fire are another obvious touchstone, while the scratchy offbeat guitar chops and general reverbiness of ‘March of the Camels’ evokes the spooky ska of The Specials, whose cover of Dylan’s ‘Maggie’s Farm’ the Rabbits channelled, most-excellently, as an encore.