Review :: The Black Rabbits, "Let It Breed"

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Sometimes it's better to not ask questions.

I mean, sure, I'd LIKE to know why there's a band in Lawrence called The Black Rabbits that just put out an album with 10 songs about rabbits. I'd LIKE to know the logic behind songs like "Bunnycocks" and "Velvet Rabbit: Rabbits are everywhere in their black rabbit hair."

But sometimes it's better not to know.

With such a bizarre premise, you might expect a train wreck. But "Let It Breed" is a pretty dang good rock record. It's not all fancypants like The Killers or complicated like The Mars Volta. It's just power chords and some messily played 4/4 drum beats ... and songs about bunnies.

The band is headed up by singer/guitarist Mike McCoy, formerly of Cher UK. Rounding out the group is Frances Zopp on bass, Jason Beers on guitar and farfisa and Bernie Dugan on drums (recently replaced by Bill Guilfoyle of The Pornhuskers; they've also added Lyle Wells on farfisa).

Here's a sampling of what you're in for:

Past Event

Black Rabbits / Betty Ford

  • Friday, July 29, 2005, 10 p.m.
  • Replay Lounge, 946 Mass., Lawrence
  • 21+ / $2


"Make some rabbit love until you get things in control / Make some rabbit love down in the lovely rabbit hole."("Blonde Rabbit")

"We were jumping along / We were hopping along / We were getting it on / Out of the fields and onto the lawn." ("Highway Bunny")

"Rabbits working on the land / Blackened to the bone / Rabbits in Utopia / We're always asking more of ya / Rabbits overseas today / We need to bring 'em home." ("Rabbit War Cry")

Musically, think of The Black Rabbits as a garage band variant of The Eels. McCoy's weary voice isn't far off from E's, and his straight-shooting songcraft also recalls that band. "Let It Breed" markets itself like a vintage punk rock LP, listing all the songs on the cover and clocking in a brief 32 minutes for 10 songs. But it's too tuneful to be punk rock, unless you're taking about bands like The Buzzcocks or Husker Du.

"Let It Breed" may not make heavy rotation, but it's certainly an enjoyable listen for what it is - a rock and roll record ... about rabbits.