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Fort Nightly (Bonus Tracks Version)

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Album Review

Vague recollections of a surreal 1940s movie scene eddy up. Six musicians enter a room, take their seats, and begin to play...six different pieces of music. They stop, look at each other, nod, and begin playing again...all different songs. They exchange sheet music, but cacophony still ensues. The memory is dim, but the White Rabbits bring it vividly to life with their strange but brilliant Fort Nightly album. The sextet sashay in with the Latin-flavored "Kid on My Shoulders," a track infused with a '50s feel, yet with a dark and dangerous atmosphere that evokes the Specials, and lyrics that put even Terry Hall's most obscure ones to shame. "March of the Camels" conjures that band's specter even more strongly with its oppressive atmosphere, solid reggae bassline, and eerie cries which echo of "Ghost Town." In contrast, "Dinner Party" sets a table for the Fun Boy 3 with its rhythm-heavy arrangement. And like the Fun Boy 3, it's the Rabbits' rhythms that are the driving force of the band's sound. Many of them are jazz or big-band inspired, but not exclusively, as the martial drums that power "Take a Walk Around the Table" or the Afro-beats that patter across "I Used to Complain Now I Don't" illustrate. But the big, bold beats are often juxtaposed against champagne-styled piano, which in "Complain"'s case slides slyly into ragtime. If Liberace joined a swing band, and enlisted a guitarist addicted to eclecticism (Western, surf-flecked, and C&W included), it might sound a bit like this. Yet somehow, the White Rabbits pull this surreal set straight out of the hat, because for all its fractured elements, the group still magically conjure up coherent, complete songs. As lyrically eclectic and clever as it is musically, this is one fascinating album. As unique an experience as the Fun Boy 3's eponymous debut was in its day, and just as mesmerizing.

Customer Reviews

Good, but not as good as they can be...

A 6-piece band from Bushwick, New York City, White Rabbits play a new, not-easy-to-pigeonhole music that draws from bands like Cold War Kids, The Walkmen, The Strokes, maybe even the Guillemots. Coming off tours with The Cribs and the Kaiser Chiefs, their time is clearly near. And there is a lot here to hear. But there is, throughout the disc, the gnawing sense that something didn't make it out of the studio - this is a band that revels in its rhythmic sense (two drummers...), spiky sound and a great collective noise. Compared to the live band (or even the live band playing acoustically), the record sounds a little civilised, a bit trebley. Production question aside, however, there is no question that this is a band whose music is as addictive as nicotine - it's fun, melodic, a little anarchic. They're The Walkmen with a sense of humour, and less reliance on a wall of noise. Fort Nightly is a great disc, and there's every chance that its successor will be outstanding.


this is a must listen if you just give it a quick listen on itunes you will love it you need this album in ya life smile!


Formed: 2004 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

At first, it's easy to mistake the White Rabbits for just another set of New York City dance-rock hipsters in the Clap Your Hands Say Yeah tradition, but a second look reveals a quirkier and more rewarding aesthetic. A sextet featuring two drummers and a piano player, the White Rabbits refer to their music as "honky tonk calypso," and their cheerful blend of calypso, reggae and ska rhythms, plus secondhand music hall influences and big pop hooks, strongly recalls vintage Madness circa "Our House"...
Full bio
Fort Nightly (Bonus Tracks Version), White Rabbits
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Customer Ratings