Sound — 10
Year of the Rabbit is the brainchild of former Failure singer/guitarist Ken Andrews, former Season To Risk/Shiner drummer Tim Dow, ex Cupcakes bassist Solomon Snyder and former Castor/National Skyline guitarist Jeff Garber. Im going to right away say that this album is so good when you hear it, your pants will immediatley fly off and burst into flames. That being said I'll give you my explanation to this phenonmenon.Taking a more radio friendly approach then Failure or On, this album is definatley a good start for Y.o.t.R. Their sound can range from spacey and brooding (Hunted) to so catchy and optimistic it would make a dead person smile (Rabbit Hole). It has Ken's signature 'just got outta bed' vocals and satisfying riffs (the guitar parts are very creative and not one song sounds the same as another along with the vocals, making each track unique). If your a technique freak however, technicaly speaking the songs are no hendrix or satriani but a few may breath a sigh of relief to hear that the use of power chords is limited. Some songs will make you want to laugh, some will make you want to cry, some will make you think, but regardless, you'll be humming them all day long for weeks and weeks.
Lyrics — 10
Let me start out saying that Ken Andrews has one of the best voices in underground rock. He doesn't have a range as high as Brandon Boyd or Cedric Bixler Zavala (mars volta) but his voice seems to carry actual meaning to the lyrics, rather then the usual barking of those dime a dozen 'rock' singers in most bands nowadays. The lyrics are full of clever metaphors and my mysterious phrases. Take for instance one of the verses in the song 'Hunted': "And when your metal seeker shines, I will avoid its hungry beam And make a silent slow escape, Away into the night" He has a lyrical style that varies with each song making the vocals equally important as any other part of the band (which is how it should be in my opinion).
Overall Impression — 10
I'll go over the tracks individualy; Track 1 - Rabbit Hole : Good song to start the album with, very catchy. One of the faster paced songs. Track 2 - Lie Down : One of my favorite songs on the album, it starts out very mysteriously intro. The melancholy lyrics and verses really make you stop and think, but then erupts in a chorus of sonic boom that will blow your ears off. seriously. Track 3 - Last Defense : The first single on the album (check out the music video too, it's great). Imploring lyrics and a great melodic chorus. Track 4 - Strange Eyes : Not much to say, it's a very cheerful song with a melody that'll make you smile. Track 5 - Absent Stars : Fast song with one of the catchiest choruses I've ever heard. Lots of arppeggios, simply put, this song is orgasmic. Track 6 - Vaporize : great song overall interesting lyrics. The bridge is my favorite part of the song and the solo is great. I love the way the song disintegrates at the end. Track 7 - Let it Go : Another euphonius song on the album. It really takes off near the end with a interlude that ends the song great. Track 8 - Hunted : My favorite song on the album. The haunting vocals and enigmatic instrumentals are one of Ken Andrews best achievments in his career. This is the song to end all songs. Track 9 - River : Lots of metaphors in this song about suicide, you can almost feel like your drowning while listening to this song. Track 10 - Hold Me Up : The only full acoustic song on the album, featuring a violin section. Very symphonic and peacful it's a great song if you are feeling low. Track 11 - Say Goodbye : Great song to finish the album, very mellow and relaxing. Overall YotR is an incredible band, give them a listen and I promise you won't be disapointed. (by the way if you like them you'd probably like to check out Failure, Autolux, Cave In and Blinker the Star too).