Despite Rabbits’ name, its music is loud and punishing, and Type Foundry (plus producers Jeremy Romagna and Lauren K. Newman, a.k.a. LKN) acts as a perfect foil to the band’s intensity. Lower Forms is a metal-punk record of the highest fidelity: The whole thing is mixed clean and to the front, so you can hear every tumbling drum fill and monstrous, slow riff. It’s a step up from the band’s early 12-inches and split singles, and it rivals seeing one of its ear-splitting live shows.
It also succeeds in establishing one mood, an overwhelming sense of dread that’s not the type of thing every music fan can get behind. All 10 tracks on the album are steeped in the same thick grime and molten rhythms, and grounded by singer Josh Hughes’ howling growl. But a few songs stand out, including opener “Burn, Sun, Burn” and “Invisibugs,” which plods along with a quick stop-and-start beat and a particularly heavy bit of guitar feedback. Along with Red Fang, Rabbits is redefining how Portland hard rock bands should sound and act. So, who’s recording at Type Foundry next?
SEE IT: Water & Bodies plays Friday, Feb. 18, at the Doug Fir, with Archeology, the Dimes and UHF. 9 pm. $5. 21+. Rabbits plays Saturday, Feb. 19, at Branx, with YOB and Norska. 9 pm. $10 advance, $13 day of show. All ages.