Music, at least for me, is about conveying a passion or a feeling or a thought. It’s about transferring something profoundly human using artistic expression. It’s never been about the technicalities, about the fucking industry, about how "street" or original something is, even about the genre.
Dirty Little Rabbits, the brainchild of Shawn Crahan of Slipknot, captivates on an emotional level instantaneously with their self-titled debut LP. I had the opportunity to check out the Rabbits in January of 2009 when I received their Simon EP. I found myself enthralled with it, astonished especially by vocalist Stella Katsoudas and her idiosyncratic ability to convey a broad range of emotions and feelings.
With the self-titled record, Stella is expansive and every bit the explosive character I remember from the EP.
“Simon will save us all,” sings Stella on the organ-driven “Simon.” The track features the vocalist as a meandering, confused, scared little girl wandering through pools of blood looking for some form of salvation. Crahan’s explosive drum fills give the song some heaviness, but it’s Michael Pfaff’s punches of organ that hammer this track home.
“You Say” puts some slight edge in Katsoudas’ tantalizing tone in the chorus, but the verse is provided by a slightly tentative individual. She almost fidgets, lyrically, before cranking up the intensity amid the organ thumps of the refrain.
“Professional Hit,” my favourite cut on the record, is a manic-depressive dose of rock that finds Stella screaming and losing her mind over insistent guitar and organ. She sounds almost sweet before she launches on a psychotic tirade of obscenities and questions. Stella’s ability to transport herself emotionally and passionately is astounding. She shouts, stamps, kicks, and stammers, words dripping with acid and sarcasm.
“I Love You” is another gem. Tempered with a bluesy guitar, the tune finds Stella insisting that “you don’t know what you’ve been missing” before adding that “you don’t know because you don’t care.” A guitar solo breaks up the obsession just before Stella takes the carving knife to her lover’s throat.
The final cut, aptly titled “Rabbit Holes,” finds Stella marching proudly and proclaiming “now you’re dead” before engaging in a sing-songy rendition of the repetitive chorus. Awesome and haunting stuff.
With Dirty Little Rabbits, the weapon of Stella Katsoudas is set loose on the world. A blood-soaked princess capable of killing ex-lovers and kidnapping ice cream truck drivers, her innocence lasts just long enough for her to pull the trigger. Crahan’s side project proves more engaging and creative than his main meal and I can only hope to hear a lot more from these Dirty Little Rabbits.Powered by Sidelines