The Black Rabbits
Over the past couple of years, much of the American iteration of "indie rock" has gotten mired in a latte-scented puddle of mild psychedelia on one hand and purposely low-fi, pedal-doused noise on the other. There's a lot of cool stuff in between, but what nearly nobody is doing anymore is straight-ahead rock, the kind that hangs more on hooks and melody than effects. Enter the Black Rabbits, a foursome originally from Orlando that now resides in Asheville, North Carolina.
The coed group boasts a slightly roughed-up power-pop sound, but not an overproduced one. Rather, the band traces its lineage to great '60s UK groups such as the Animals and the Turtles, as well as American groups such as the Pixies and even Nirvana. That grungier stuff is more or less confined to frontman Jetson Black's slightly snarling vocals. The rest of the time, the songs have a feel-good, timeless bounce that should appeal to Boomer parents as much as 20-somethings in Converse. After all, this is a band that also unabashedly name-checks the Monkees, an influence that can be heard in the bouncy buildups of songs such as "Hurry, Hurry."
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