13 Songs, 46 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Known for their deliriously wild live shows, this Philadelphia five-piece has slowly gained an audience appreciative of their particular brand of sonic adventure, and Rabbit Habits take a small (but necessary) step in a more accessible direction. Known prog rockers like Zappa and Beefheart are inevitable touchstones, but so are more current, globally influenced artists such as Devotchka and the now defunct 3 Mustaphas 3. Squalling sousaphone, inebriated marimbas, screeching guitars and two-stepping drums (and more drums) provide the color for vocalist Honus Honus’ Tom Wait-ish growl, the music swaggering from one soundtrack to another: a dingy, eastern European punk rock club (“Mister Jung,” “Easy Eats,” “Top Drawer”), a New Orleans funeral (“Big Trouble”), a late-night piano bar (“Doo Right”), a Raymond Scott cartoon score (“The Ballad of Butter Beans”). The zig-zagging post-rock of “Hurly Burly” and the multi-flavored mayhem of “Harpoon Fever” are fairly intoxicating, but the somber, poetic telling of “Poor Jackie” and “Whalebones” will sober you right up (there’s a novel in those songs, waiting to get out). Impressive, from both a musical and lyrical standpoint, and definitely new.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Known for their deliriously wild live shows, this Philadelphia five-piece has slowly gained an audience appreciative of their particular brand of sonic adventure, and Rabbit Habits take a small (but necessary) step in a more accessible direction. Known prog rockers like Zappa and Beefheart are inevitable touchstones, but so are more current, globally influenced artists such as Devotchka and the now defunct 3 Mustaphas 3. Squalling sousaphone, inebriated marimbas, screeching guitars and two-stepping drums (and more drums) provide the color for vocalist Honus Honus’ Tom Wait-ish growl, the music swaggering from one soundtrack to another: a dingy, eastern European punk rock club (“Mister Jung,” “Easy Eats,” “Top Drawer”), a New Orleans funeral (“Big Trouble”), a late-night piano bar (“Doo Right”), a Raymond Scott cartoon score (“The Ballad of Butter Beans”). The zig-zagging post-rock of “Hurly Burly” and the multi-flavored mayhem of “Harpoon Fever” are fairly intoxicating, but the somber, poetic telling of “Poor Jackie” and “Whalebones” will sober you right up (there’s a novel in those songs, waiting to get out). Impressive, from both a musical and lyrical standpoint, and definitely new.

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