Category: Industrial / Hardclash
Album: Beast EP
Blurb: Continuing to bridge melodious songwriting with belligerent punk attitude, and incorporating more gothic hip-hop elements, this latest EP from Seattle’s hardclash sensation is yet another fine outing!
Never a band to skimp on heavy volume and confrontational attitude, Seattle’s Rabbit Junk continues to push past the boundaries of modern music, bridging together numerous genres into a singularly recognizable identity. The band’s previous Invasion EP showcased a greater melodic emphasis, losing none of the edginess or the abrasion that has defined the “hardclash” style that has defined the band since its inception, gaining only an even stronger sense of songwriting and production style. The Beast EP continues this trend with some of Rabbit Junk’s most melodious and musically accomplished material to date. “Dig Dug Has a Posse” begins the proceedings with a sample from The Warriors, the sounds of the cheering crowd reverberating into a pulsating hip-hop beat and bass line that gradually gains in momentum and tempo, bursting into a stomping dance floor killer abundant with scathing synths glitch-laden like a malfunctioning video game. Sum Grrl’s in-your-face rapping contrasts well with JP Anderson’s layered vocals, making for a downright catchy opening track. From the onset, Beast boasts a greater hip-hop influence, further exemplified in the title track with its dub-like vocal refrains and squelches of synths, while “Locked” takes on a more gothic atmosphere indicative of the current trends in Seattle’s underground hip-hop scene. This later track is among the more unsettling on the EP, its sharply programmed beats and haze of haunting pads amid disparate harmonies creating an effect befitting a horror soundtrack, albeit with Rabbit Junk’s acerbic sense of bombast. “Fffriends” alternates in true Rabbit Junk fashion between caustic guitar-driven heavy metal and accessible pop melodies, like some sort of mangled electro/punk hybrid of Duran Duran. Ending Beast is “Sporecrystal,” a rare instrumental track from Rabbit Junk that marches with cinematic flourishes of choir pads and distorted synth and guitar arpeggios; stripped of any vocals, “Sporecrystal” perhaps best demonstrates the intelligent musicianship that underscores all of Rabbit Junk’s material, a sullen piano procession bringing the track and the EP to a remarkably satisfying finish. JP Anderson has produced another excellent set of genre-bending songs with the Beast EP, wrought with the band’s trademark boisterousness and belligerent punk flairs coupled with seething yet smart songwriting ability. Though the EP is only a few seconds over 22 minutes long, every song is filled to the brim with power and intensity normally reserved for a full-length album release; as a result, there is more than enough on these five songs to sate the listener’s sonic and lyrical needs without overloading their senses… too much. In other words, another excellent outing from Rabbit Junk; bravo!