I heard White Rabbits' first LP, "Fort Nightly", a few months after it came out, it was a mostly enjoyable album for me. A good indie rock album with a few tracks that begged to be placed on mixtapes due to some excellent, memorable vocals. It had some forgettable moments, but was never bad. I was expecting new producer Britt Daniel (better known as the Spoon front man) to flesh out these memorable vocal moments even more for "It's Frightening", but he actually had the opposite effect.
"It's Frightening" starts out with a bang on "Percussion Gun." The dual-drum attack drives the song from the start and never lets up and includes the classic line: "Where do you get off, and how can I get there too?" "Rudie Fails" sounds like a less-aggressive Ted Leo rocker, including his penchant for repetition as "I don't care at all" is sung a dozen or so times to end the song, these songs make up a very nice one-two punch to open the album.
From there, the album flows along at a steady pace, always letting the music steer, never allowing the vocals to explode into an instantly memorable chorus like they did multiple times on "Fort Nightly." "The Salesman" is my personal favorite in the middle stretch of the album, followed closely by "Right Where They Left". "The Lady Vanishes" and "Leave it at the Door" provide a mellow double-outro to the album, both are enjoyable tracks but the two together do feel like an extended outro, perhaps a slightly different track ordering would have increased their individual impact.
There are two major things that have come to my attention after repeated listens to "It's Frightening." The first is that they really seem intent on not allowing the vocals, which were the true highlights of their last album, to overshadow the music. The second is that the manage to pull off this instrument-driven sound much better than I thought they would have. If you liked "Fort Nightly", there is no guarantee that you will like "It's Frightening." A better measuring stick for this one is any of The Walkmen's albums or "Girls Can Tell"-era Spoon. The band is completely focused on letting the music guide the way, whether or not that is a good decision is up for interpretation, the thing that I believe can't be denied is that they pull off this new sound remarkably well.
- Audio CD (April 20, 2010)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Import
- Label: Emi Records
- ASIN: B002UTZOUA
- Average Customer Review: 23 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #287,550 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)