Thursday, September 1, 2011

Rabid Rabbit sound the alarm at Beauty Bar!

Dan and Andrea
   I believe it was around 2004, that I first encountered Andrea Jablonski fronting the trio Camaro Rouge. It was in-your-face and over-the-top punk rock. The drummer was Arman Mabry; his  beat made you drop everything and pogo dance. I always kept coming back to see Camaro Rouge play the Empty Bottle, and other places around Chicagoland. Often, they would be the opening band and steal the thunder of the headliner.

Andrea and Arman
  Andrea and Arman have since joined together as a double-bass assault team for Rabid Rabbit. Joined by Mike Tsoulos on drums and Dan Sullivan on guitar, Rabid Rabbit has become one of Chicago's most interesting of quartets. Bass drones that entice ones desire to head bang. In a slightly psychedelic and atmospheric mode, they take you to the zone of avant-garde sludge-core. 

  That monster called rock 'n' roll had many different faces; one of them was heavy metal.  This abnormal animal had its earliest rumblings traced back to the Sonics, Kinks, MC5, Beatles (Helter Skelter), Jimi Hendrix Experience, and Blue Cheer. In 1970, the grim reality of the world was documented by Black Sabbath.  Heavy they were, to the point of metal mayhem. In 2011, metal has somewhat run itself into a wall with repetitive growling. It's so refreshing to see a current band like Rabid Rabbit go back to old-school vibes, and complete the full circle by making them new again. The twelve minute "Gloomy Sunday" is my favorite and totally relevant in the present tense.

  Tonight's cutting-edge offering brings me to Chicago's near west side. Beauty Bar hosted the doom-metal vibes of Rabid Rabbit.  Andrea's vocals were mesmerizing.  Her bass was in unison with Arman and together they created a heavy ambiance that reverberated out onto Chicago avenue. This was the place to be on a Wednesday night with Zach (singer-guitarist for The Outer Minds) bar tending.  Gina (singer for The Outer Minds) was seated at the entrance doing nail polish for the guest. Rabid Rabbit commanded the complete attention of Beauty Bar once they started their set. Impromptu-doom or experi-metal would be a considerable way to describe their music. However, those descriptions alone would not do this band justice.

Arman and Andrea

  Rabid Rabbit is unique! From the opening notes, there was a haunting chemistry brewing. Heavy and dramatic, they marched to the land of dark ecstasy.  The guitar drifts off into a moody and colorful dynamic structure; followed by a climatic explosion of sound.  The dual bass arsenal builds a wall of a metallic orchestral alarm sounding off.  Dark, but intelligent for the sake of the moment. Mike did an improvisational technique with his sticks and cymbals that created an almost space rock type of sound. Then he leads the charge to storm the (current day) Bastille!

  Yes, there is an intellectual and somewhat political message to these compositions.  The drums force you to bang your head! In Chi-town, there is room for everything that is related to that monster called rock 'n' roll. The metallic face of that monster has resurfaced in the form of Rabid Rabbit!


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