Year of the Rabbit
Reviewed by MaT, added on May 9 2005
The self titled debut LP from Year of the Rabbit is an album drenched in melodic pop rock tunes that straddles the fence between being hip indie trendsetters or mainstream rock fodder. The band is fronted and produced by Ken Andrews of Failure fame. In eleven tracks of loud crunching, melodic rock tunes, he manages to create an album that not only sounds great production wise, but is filled with rock tracks that would put most of the current radio fare to shame.
Opening with the catchy "Rabbit Hole", the album marches along with loud guitars and melodic vocals on songs like "Strange Eyes" and "Absent Stars" and occasionally throws in the slower, more dynamically laden tracks such as "Let It Go" and "Hunted". Though many of the songs do stand out as interesting and catchy, the entire album feels like it sounds the same. Ken Andrews is one of the best producers in the business, and although his stuff is definitely easy on the ears, it feels like most of the songs, with a couple exceptions, blend together into one giant 40 minute song.
If any of you out there took my advice and got a hold of a copy of Failure's Fantastic Planet and enjoyed it, then you'll find a lot of stuff to like on this album. Andrews' new band is basically a louder and more rocking version of Failure that leans more towards the pop-rock sound of songs like "Stuck On You". But as mentioned before, none of the songs are blatantly radio friendly and really stand on that fine line between commerical and non-commercial. It has a commercial feel production wise, but an indie type feel with regards to the songs. Does that make sense? Sorry, that's the best I can do to describe it.
Overall, the album is really good. With the exception of some hokey lyrics ,"We can get high again, we can get high yeah...", that are thankfully covered up by the great vocal melodies, and some songs that are hard to differentiate between each other, the album is an above average, easy on the ears debut from a rock band that has quite a bit of promise and potential. I'll be interested to see what these guys do for their second album. It's worth a listen and definitely better than most of the crap on the Blaze.