OK. So. Let me preface this by saying that I’m not a huge fan of anything Rabbits is defined as. I don’t really like hardcore and haven’t liked it since I was in high school. And even then I only flirted with the genre and never really got into it. Second, I listen to a lot of music. I get new music every day and I hear new shit all the time. I try to be pretty open minded, but sometimes I just don’t like shit. And I really, really, really don’t like Rabbits – Lower Forms. I’m sure these guys are OK with that, though, because that’s the point of being counter cultural.
Why? You may ask. I’ll tell you. It stinks. I mean, musically it’s not interesting at all. It’s super “raw” and “punky” and by that they mean “lo-fi,” “simple” and “boring”. Then because it’s hardcore influenced it pretty much lacks melody, because hardcore is just punk rock guitars but sans the melody. So because everything is simple and boring and completely lacking in melody I pretty much zone out immediately. Except in this case I can’t do that. Why? Because Rabbits has probably the most annoying vocalist I’ve ever heard in my entire life. He’s a hardcore screamer, except sort of more annoying. If this weren’t enough, they have more annoying traits. Like they’re also sludgey at times. So it’s super slow and mind-numbing at the same time! It’s like everything I could possibly hate about a record rolled into one and then served on a piece of shit.
So yeah. This is just super, super not my thing and to be honest, I’m having trouble even seeing any redeeming qualities in my never-ending struggle with “objectivity”. I get certain types of lo-fi and I accept them for what they are and can see their redeeming qualities. That is not the case with this album. Aside from a melody here and there, the one on “Invisibugs” is cool and so, too, the following track “The Flow Below” has a neat intro with some toms and some ambient guitar work that is vaguely reminiscent of Tool, except that might give it a bit too much credit1. The one real highlight is the track “No Depth,” which is 59 seconds of awesome. It’s heavy, musically more interesting and showcases real intensity and emotion. I’m sure the band considers it to be a total failure and the worst song on the album.
However, in my desire to be even handed I want to say that I like the production pretty well here. These guys sound like a real band playing real instruments. It’s kinda muffled at times, but it’s not bad quality by any means. The drums sound like real drums, which is awesome and seldom heard in metal anymore, and the guitars sound like shit, just like they would in real life. So kudos for having the right idea about production. Too bad that went hand-in-hand with the rest of this record.
I’d also give these guys points for originality, but they’re probably ripping someone off. You’ll just have to ask Slightly Stoned and Cranky Sludge Guy, ’cause he probably knows who. Though as you can tell I’m pretty cranky after sitting through that record three times.
- It has come to my attention that the band does not use a bass. Huh, that wasn’t my best editorial moment and I am now correcting the record. Anyway, the Tool reference has to do with the fact that the toms intro is vaguely “tribal” and that it’s ambient. And I did also say “vaguely,” to make the point that it was stretching for a point of reference off the top of my head. Rabbits wins for taking this in good humor. Also “all this lo-fi stuff” is that your record isn’t mixed and mastered like high budget records on other labels. ↩