Kill The Rabbit, or KTR (or Kill Tha Wabbit, for you Looney Toons aficionados) are a five-piece hard rock band out of Van Wert, Ohio that have put down roots in Fort Wayne in the last few years. They’ve won over fans with a gritty, working class, a-few-beers-after-work kind of rock n’ roll bravado. Make no mistake here, folks; these guys don’t make Pitchfork-approved indie rock. No, this is leather pants, bullhorn-singing, guitar noodling, sexual innuendo-filled, drop D-tuned, machismo-oozing hard rock. If you have a soft spot for 80s metal, 90s hard rock and some of the current pop metal you might hear on 98.9 The Bear, you are in for a real treat on Kill The Rabbit’s newest album, Coming for You.
First off, if you didn’t grow up in the 80s – or if you never owned an album by Tesla, Ratt, Poison, Queensÿrche or anyone that toured with a case of White Rain in the van – you may not find Coming for You appealing. If you did grow up in the 80s and your cassette and vinyl collection was overrun by The Replacements, REM and The Cure, you’re probably in that last group of folks. But those who are left are in for a treat. Big guitars, big melodies, crunchy riffs and soaring vocals are the name of the game here.
The songs? There’s a mix of big raucous rock n’ roll, heart-on-sleeve balladry and fist-pumping anthemic arena rock. “Believe” opens the album with a mix of balladry and guitar swagger. “Every Shot” sounds like a Dokken b-side. Lead singer Scotty Hayes does a nice job of walking the line of hard rock bombast and soaring earnestness. In fact, everyone in Kill The Rabbit is very proficient at his job. Lead guitarist Tony Gardner plays like he’s looking for a spread in Metal Edge or Guitar World. He sporadically spits speedy riffs that will make you want to sit in your bedroom and learn “Eruption” all over again. Mike Adams lays down some solid rhythm guitar, while Marc Baker and Sheridan Lippi form a bass and drum section that gives the songs a much-needed low end.
“Fit To Be Tied” falters a bit with its 80s sexual innuendos and girating machismo. “Wind It Out” is another track that hits hard in the music department but tends to falter with the “come hither” prepubescent lyrics. But hey, this is 80s-inspired rock after all.
Elsewhere, songs like title track and a rocked-up cover of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s “Relax” make up for those few missteps. I was looking forward to a cover of Ratt’s “Round And Round,” but alas, it was an original ballad of the same name. Still, not a bad tune.
Coming for You doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what it is; and in a time where artists wear a different genre hat every day of the week, stability can be taken for granted. So what is Kill The Rabbit’s Coming for You? It’s a fun, sweaty, wild ride.
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