Year of the Rabbit Year of the Rabbit

Haunting, explosive, hard-hitting, charming and uplifting, this debut from the Los Angeles-infected quartet is a modern masterpiece of alt-rock perfection with cinematic strokes. Year of the Rabbit is a new band conjured up by guitarist/composer/vocalist Ken Andrews, who also happens to be an avant-garde producer/recordist/mixer, having injected his eccentric ear-tweaking talents to albums by the likes of Blinker the Star, Pete Yorn and Jimmy Eat World. Andrews (the "alternative Phil Spector”) was also the brainchild behind the much heralded group Failure, who arguably are the genesis of the chromatic processed guitar sound (currently perpetuated by former member Troy Van Leeuwen who took it to A Perfect Circle and Queens of the Stone Age), and whom also earned accolades world-wide and gained great support by the likes of other left-field dark rockers such as Tool. For his new band (also featuring members formerly of Shiner, National Skyline and Cupcakes), Andrews and company further explore the depths of otherworldly guitar sounds, and assemble them into a giant wall of chromatic sound. The somewhat androgynous, exotic and universal radio-friendly songs within the self-produced album are held together by luminescent psychedelic pop hooks, strange yet friendly grooves and titanium drumming that creates wild and wonderful collisions and blends of machinated textures and arrangements though still staying richly organic. It is rare for a band to come up with a solid first appearance that is not spotty, but somehow YOTR have achieved it by judiciously mixing art and commerce and have come up with an instant classic that is akin to the timeless feel of the Cars' debut (somewhat of an influence here, and certainly inspired by the haunting aura and concepts of early Gary Numan records) or even Nirvana's major label debut. There is not an ounce of trying too hard or a pretentiousness syndrome within at all; everything (even with the mandatory slow songs) flows beautifully to the point where the CD player might very well execute the repeat function by itself. It’s that good. (Elektra)