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Review: Rabbithole – Must Be the Moon

Few bands are able to infuse the gritty textures of 90’s grunge with new life. Even fewer bands are able to combine intricate melodic layers, memorable-yet-uncontrived hooks, and a vocal personality that’ll have you asking “Who is that?” Further less bands can wrap all this together in an energy that translates equally through their live sound and recorded material—welcome to “Must Be the Moon”.

Lowell-based and Boston-approved, Rabbithole, has crafted a release which is at once artfully radio-ready and subtly eclectic, with just the right mix of personality, compositional wizardry, and dynamism.

Take “Asking for a Friend” for example. The bridge’s 4/6 time signature shakes a listener out of the typical steady tempo while seamlessly grooving along. Coupled with guitarist Johnny Gelsomini’s daring melodic choices in the lead guitar (a quality which also manifests in “Don’t Touch Me” and others), you’re confronted with rapid-fire surprises that allow for contemplation and enjoyment.

Singer and guitarist Nick Warren’s vocal delivery is of special note. Conjuring a recipe of Cobain, Cornell, and something else altogether his own, passionate lyrics are spit in a tone that, as stated above, breathes new life to the signature grit and coarseness of rock and roll decades bygone.

The depth of presentation on “Must Be the Moon” changes track by track, at times sparse and reserved as in “On the Block”, others a veritable wall-of-sound like “Don’t Touch Me” and “Memory Lane”. Rabbithole also explores several musical archetypes in rock n’ roll, such as in “Hold Your Water”, a refreshing take on the “balls to the wall”  sound that is surprisingly tasteful.

One thing that permeates through the whole album is an intricately complex harmonic structure reminiscent of early Foo Fighters, especially in 1997’s “The Colour and the Shape”. Yet Rabbithole’s take on this concept is totally and completely their own—from this to the references of 90’s grunge, this band delivers less an imitation and more a demonstrated understanding and homage to that sound.

Lastly, personality bleeds through the speakers in a manner rare among local bands. The profiles of Warren, Gelsomini, drummer Milton Scandorieiro, and bassist Jameson Walsh shine through in their own novel and endearing ways. Separately, each brings their own memorable musical contributions to the masses. Together, they are a force to be reckoned with. – Al  Gentile

You can catch Rabbithole live at Thirsty First in Lowell, MA  11/24/2017