Rabble Rabble are getting ready to release an incredible new record this Friday. The new LP, Brain Hole, will officially be available on June 13th as a digital download as well an LP (for the audio purists). Here’s a first look at what is quickly becoming one of our favorite local albums of the year.
Without warning, “Snake Bite” comes at you like an angry fist. No bullshit guitar or drum intros, just Rabble Ralph Darksi’s opening line “Watch out, the waves are going through you” and a driving punk beat. It’s like when network TV announcers would lead you into a show with “We now return you to your regularly scheduled program already in progress”.
“Snake Bite” seems pretty cut & dry at first, fun catchy riffs, grungy guitars, but it starts to grow at around the halfway point and turns into a climatic barrage of guitars and percussion.
The shredding eventually subsides and leads into the fuzzy psych-infused song, “Lung Cancer”. The sporadic tempo changes, combined with the frantically spoke lyrical content, makes this a track that keeps you guessing. The subject matter should be readily apparent from the title, if not, lines like “Oh yea Nicotine, it’s flowing and your Lung Cancer, it’s growing / and you know I need your money babe but you can’t stop where you started” hammer the point home pretty damn clearly.
The longest track on the album, “Decoy”, is quickly becoming my favorite. Andrew Kettering’s fuzzed out bass intro is enough to keep me listening for the entirety of this nearly 8 minute long song, but the band has plenty more to offer. They get out and explore a lot more on this track; It’s not as concrete as the first two.The guitars are allowed to meander while drummer Kaylee Preston keeps time with a diligence and accuracy that would rival a marine corps band. Ralph’s vocals float among the fog until they build up into a raucous chorus. It’s a groovy trip that reminds you of Rabble Rabble’s psychedelic side, in case you thought they just did 3-chord punk.
Keeping the energy up after the long jam is the album’s first single, “Broke”. The video is already more notorious than the track itself. You may recall this Public Service Announcement we posted after it’s release. This one has all it all. Their influences combine to make a catchy, psych-y, punk-y, song that still manages to have an amazing amount of pop sensibility thrown in.
Right in the middle of the 9-track album is the catchy rocker “Scars and Stripes”. It’s another balls out kind of rock song, complete with face melting guitar work that spaces out and becomes something even grander by the end of it. It’s a nice half-way point and feels like the best of both worlds, catchy and nebulous all at once.
The drawn out jams fade into the background a bit in the second half of the album in exchange for some more 2-3 minute burst of energetic punk rock. Somehow the erratic instrumental track “CB1” manages to be both of those things, I’d have to describe the 2 minute track as pure “Drone Punk”.
“One” is another stand out on the B-Side of the album. It draws on a lot of the same dynamics as the first few tracks, tempo changes, noisy soundscapes, crazy solos, except the solo at the end of this one feels way more angular, almost kraut-rock-ish, and in all the right ways.
Closing out the album is the brooding title track “Brain Hole”. A droning keyboard and bass line bring you into the song and then the line “We all have holes inside our brain, no they don’t cause us any pain…”. Once the drums kick in, so does a haunting cello part. Probably the most “Stoner Rock” track on the album, it should get your head bobbing from side-to-side regardless of what you’re on.
You’ll have to head over to Rabble Rabble’s bandcamp to check out the tracks not featured here (I can’t give away the whole thing now can I?). Stream it for free now (and forever) but be sure to pick up a copy at their Record Release show this Friday.
For me, The appeal of Rabble Rabble is their ability to float between genres and simply destroy the lines between them. I generally look the other way when a long-haired dude starts shredding like Yngwie Malmsteem, but what Rabble Rabble do leaves me completely hypnotized. The reason for that is they don’t use fast guitar riffs and loud vocals as a crutch, instead they are used as tools to craft some brilliant songs. Their talent for songwriting and composition shine like a beacon in a sea of wanky ass guitarists & dudes who sound like they’re vomiting into a microphone. Rabble Rabble are the real deal, accept no substitute.
Be one of the first to pick up a physical copy of the new album this Friday, June 13th, at The Empty Bottle (1035 N. Western Ave). FREE with RSVP, 21+, 9pm.
LIVE PHOTOS BY DAN JARVIS