Album review: White Rabbits, Milk Famous

Brooklyn-based sextet White Rabbits has veered from their usual percussion-and-piano grandiosity into darker, stripped-down terrain in Milk Famous. The band's third record rides on sturdy rhythms bolstered by hooky basslines, cadenced keys, and fuzz and effects-laden synths, the guitars drawn into wild squealing notes, distorted riffs or the odd pretty breaks (as in Afro-flavored "Back for More") amid scattered snatches of echoing or ambient or shrill sonic flotsam. While they wind up sounding more like their Spoon mentors than ever before – frontman Britt Daniels did produce the last White Rabbits album and longtime Spoon knob turner Mike McCarthy worked on this one – it's an intriguing change, almost as if they suddenly discovered how to brood and groove, and have assumed the mode with satisfied ease. (Out March 6 via tbd Records)

4 Stars