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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Live review: Dead Rabbits at 529

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Four people stopped me on the way in the door at 529 on Monday night to make dismissive huffs about how much the band I was there to see, Dead Rabbits, sounds like the Black Keys. Funny ... while listening to their self-released and hand-painted CD, The Rabbit that Roared, in the car on the way there, I was thinking Led Zeppelin. But whatever. Even though both comparisons are appropriate, they're also too easy.

Dead Rabbits are a hirsute two-piece that plays stoned and bluesy rock songs. Guitar and drums are the set-up, and in true two-piece fashion they make up for the lack of a bassist with a loud, slurred approach to thick melodies. And it is their melodic sensibilities that shine in songs like "Tomorrow's Gonna Rain" and "Simple Girl" that collide with the noisy distortion in "Get Well Soon," giving rise to sweaty and kinetic energy. Drummer Lucas Fuentes hit the kit with tornadic force, while singer/guitarist Joshua DeRosa guided each song to a fine point, all the while hitting crazy, squelching guitar tones.

To lean on the Black Keys' influence in their songs is to deny a great many things when it comes to Dead Rabbits. Right out of the gate, their energy, hooks, melodies and presence added a compelling, youthful whir to an already used and abused area of music real estate. Not bad for a couple of long-hairs.

(Photo by Chad Radford)

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