Milk Famous, the third album from Brooklyn’s White Rabbits, is a departure from their usual pounding rhythms and piano beats. Instead, it seems to trade in their percussive intensity for more frenetic synth beats, making the album sound like something of a companion piece to Of Montreal’s latter day work.
Opener “Heavy Metal” is interesting and infectious. Looping synths give it an almost ominous sound coupled with jagged guitar riffs. These two themes are also prevalent in “I’m Not Me,” “Temporary,” and “The Day You Won the War.” The vocals displayed are eerily reminiscent of Phoenix’s Thomas Mars.
An atmospheric, light-rock aesthetic also permeates the album. “Hold It To The Fire” and “Everyone Can’t Be Confused,” for example, sound more like The 88 in their use of soft piano and upbeat vocals. “Are You Free,” “It’s Frightening,” and “Come Inside” all go into Peter, Bjorn and John territory with sweeping atmospherics.
If you were hoping for the crazy trademark Cabaret sound of White Rabbits, you won’t find it on Milk Famous. The new direction of sound in White Rabbits’ latest is unexpected, but offers an enjoyable listen – especially as background music. But for long-time fans, this leaves a sense that the music was largely inspired by other bands and doesn’t have the same unique touch. Ultimately Milk Famous, while enjoyable, doesn’t offer anything new to the genre.