Robot vs. Rabbit - "s/t"
(Rabbot Recordings 2000, CDR)
From Aural Innovations #16 (June 2001)
Robot vs. Rabbit is a South Carolina based trio that play heavy, brain slamming noise-psych. The music sometimes, jams evolving slowly as it goes on, while at others it takes on a more experimental droning nature where pure sound is spotlighted and makes its presence known without concern for development. The band consists of Garrett Gentry on bass and drums, Tim Killough on guitar and bass, and Mark Hepp on guitar and bass.
Tracks like "0712038", "Gleek", and "Israel", are jamming, lo-fi noisy psychedelic meltdowns. I liked "0712038" because I could actually hear the instruments rather than it being a glom of drone. The music moves along at a chunky driving pace and even has a spacey metallic edge, maybe like Chrome or MX-80. "Gleek" is a throbbing noise-psych jam. You have to listen closely to hear the one guitar that slowly gives some development to the tune, and I wish it had been a bit more up-front in the mix. "Israel" is similar, being an incessant jam along the lines of noise psych rockers like SubArachnoid Space, but with traces of early space psychsters like Hawkwind and Guru Guru. The bass and guitars pound away without relief, and the feedback, fuzz, and drones from the guitar provide the gradual development of the music. "De-ray" is an oddball track. A noise-psych jam rumbles in background as samples of people with hillbilly southern accents yammer on about someone's father getting shot, and losing his sunglasses and having to go back to a bar and get them, and... very strange.
Robot vs. Rabbit reveal their more avant garde side on tracks like "Sb50", "Trance", and "9031". On "Sb50", what sounds like guitar loops lay down repetitive patterns around which a crazed fuzz-fest creates a sonic molten atmosphere. Lots of other freaky noises, percussion, and voices crop up to add spice and variety to the mix, and though electronics aren't credited I'm sure I hear a synth in there somewhere. Brain-searing but interesting. "Trance" is similar, but has more of a noisy minimalist feel with a variety of waved and phased drones and percussion taking the lead. Lots of good ideas but it was tough keeping my attention for the entire 23 minutes. And "9031" consists of sheer radio frequency fuzz and drone, along with some freaky anguished voices.
In summary, noise-psych fans should find lots of appealing sounds here. A lot of it impressed me, though I think Robot vs. Rabbit have a hard time keeping the lengthy tracks interesting. Still, I hope I get to hear more from them.
For more information you can visit the Robot vs. Rabbit web site at: http://www.robotvsrabbit.com/.
Hear sound files at their Mp3.com web site at: http://www.mp3.com/rabbot.
Contact via snail mail c/o Robot vs. Rabbit; PO Box 256; Catawba, SC 29704-0256.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz