It’s one thing for a band to smooth out a debut album’s small flaws for the follow-up, and another to leap straight from apprentice to master. On Fort Nightly, White Rabbits nakedly aspired to be a more chaotic Walkmen. A few raucous standouts aside, the band was better at sloppy energy than focus. It’s Frightening was produced by Spoon’s Britt Daniel, so it’s predictably pared-down. (Daniel brings along his inexplicable fascination with recording talkback.) With six members and two drum kits, White Rabbits’ greatest asset is a sense of rhythmic divide. Scratchy rhythm guitars and almost-in-sync drums are pitted against chiming minor-chord melodies for multiple ominous tensions at once. When everyone attacks in unison—as on “They Done Wrong/We Done Wrong,” where they pause for half a second before all hitting the same line for the first time—it’s exhilarating. At 10 songs and 35 minutes, there’s no filler, not even on the obligatory final comedown “Leave It At The Door,” which is all fluttery woodwinds and exhaustion.
More from The A.V. Club