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Bad Rabbits

Stick Up Kids

(Self-released; US: 1 Dec 2009)

The first thing that flashed across my mind upon hearing the name “Bad Rabbits” was Marilyn Monroe, specifically a line she uttered as Miss Caswell in All About Eve (1950): “Why do they always look like such unhappy rabbits?” Even the unhappiest of rabbits could hardly resist changing their dour disposition after listening to Bad Rabbits.


Based just outside of Boston, Bad Rabbits create irresistible rock-infused funk with a glossy pop sheen. Their speciality is the three-minute hook, and their debut, Stick Up Kids, puts the fun in funk without the kind of bombast that their peacock-feathered brethren rely upon to convince you that they’re the real deal. Bad Rabbits are the real deal, a welcome force in this newest decade of pop music. The proof is in the songs. Lead singer Dua Boakye exhibits his voltaic vocal prowess on “Can’t Back Down”, an addictive cut from the outset. Not since Cee-Lo’s caterwauling on Gnarls Barkley’s St. Elsewhere (2006) has a male vocalist gripped listeners with such an intense, powerful, and uninhibited instrument. Everything behind Boakye locks in place for the most perfect pop confection I’ve heard in 2010.


The deft drumming by Sheel Davé and Graham Masser’s bass lines are the group’s secret weapon, though, fixing songs like “She’s Bad” into grooves that could shake a wallflower. “Advantage Me” is bolstered by deft rhythm guitar riffs and a left-field breakbeat to boot.  At seven songs clocking in at 21 minutes, Stick Up Kids is concise, yet not a second is wasted in commanding your attention. Bad Rabbits are bound for Good Things.

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Christian John Wikane is a NYC-based journalist and music essayist. He's a Contributing Editor for PopMatters, where he's interviewed artists ranging from Paul McCartney to Janelle Monae. For the past three years, he's penned liner notes for more than 100 CD re-issues by legends of R&B, rock, pop, dance, and jazz. Since 2008, he's produced and hosted Three of Hearts: A Benefit for The Family Center at Joe's Pub. He is the author of the five-part oral history Casablanca Records: Play It Again (PopMatters, 2009). Follow him on Twitter @CJWikaneNYC. 


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Bad Rabbits - Can't Back Down
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