(05.2007, Say Hey)
On a spectrum of bands with which I am familiar, I would place the White Rabbits somewhere between Menomena and Tapes ‘n Tapes, though their album Fort Nightly isn’t quite as imaginative or engaging as my contrived reference points’ most recent efforts. It’s always dangerous to make such proclamations of association, but I often find it necessary in order to come to a full realization of any albums merits. In a vacuum, all music as art is necessarily flawless, however, music is never consumed in a vacuum. It can’t be disconnected from mood of the listener, personal preference, or association. As a result, my valuation of this album seems, even to me, to be somewhat deflated. But that isn’t to say it should be.
Associations aside, Fort Nightly is a very catchy indie rock record. The rhythm of the record owes much to island or Congo music, and I often visualized an island girl in a grass skirt dancing somewhere on stage with maracas, just to ensure the authenticity of the groove. However, this tag may be a little misleading because Fort Nightly is not really island music. The melodies are endearing, if a little long winded. Each song seems to overstay its welcome just slightly, beginning with promise, but lacking a dynamic punch and finish that would complete the effect.The most redeeming quality of the album is the way the White Rabbits effectively combine the island grooves, indie guitar, piano, and melodramatic lyrics into a cohesive package. All in all it is a very enjoyable album, and worthy of repeated listens. Especially a live listen at Kilby Court in a couple of weeks, where the band is sure to do more than please even those unfamiliar with their music.
White Rabbits - "The Plot"