Dirty Little Rabbits – Simon [EP]
The End Records (1/20/09)
This album is a real trip…
On first spin, Simon has this almost psychedelic, classic-rock air about it. But with each new listen—and let’s face it, at six tracks clocking in at just over 20 minutes, you’re sure to listen to this one a lot—the listener is, pardon the pun, pulled further and further down the rabbit hole.
It seems Dirty Little Rabbits has crafted quite the little musical voyage. The band, as a whole, produces an eerie, foreboding backdrop that makes the listener feel like they just wandered under the big top at an evil circus. And the ringmaster—in this case, singer Stella Katsoudas—acts as emcee, seething with drama and emotion. And her far-from-nuanced approach creates this situation where her vocals are either the driving force behind the song, or it appears as though she’s being pulled along by the rest of the band while trapped, presenting some sort of evil lullaby (intentional and for effect).
This EP kicks off with the instrumental “Poor Poor Woman With Her Head in the Oven”, but it’s clear, when “You Say” kicks in, that Katsoudas is the star of this show.
The band can create a mood, that’s for sure, but it can also craft a catchy, infectious song. Case in point: “Hello”. From the chugging guitars to the scene-setting organ and keyboards, Katsoudas’ voice dances and mingles over the notes (to the point where you could almost imagine her twirling around through a forest of dead trees). And the whole, beautiful mess is propelled by thunderous drumming (courtesy of Shawn Crahan of Slipknot fame).
But this wasn’t lightning striking once. While a song like “I’m So Beautiful” could almost be dismissed by its simplistic opening, it manages to pull you in like a trap and snaps shut with its hook-laden chorus. The same could be said, to some extent, of the slower-tempo “Happy”.
This album is a nice taste of what the band can do, and the lo-fi production adds to its charm. Unfortunately, it over-achieves in its goal of leaving the listener wanting more than the six tracks. So to that end, you might be left wanting more from a full-length the band is (hopefully) working on.