So check this out…I got turned onto THE RABID WHOLE by my very good friend Tom George over at FiXT Publicity late last year (Thanks, Tom!). I instantly fell in love with the band and what was at the time their latest record Refuge. But by the time I found out they were here in Dallas it was too late and I was sad. Well it’s time to turn that frown upside down because the brand new EP Problems just landed in my lap a few hours ago. And with a new album that can only mean one thing: A tour, right? Right. No Dallas date yet, but I’m sure I’ll get one (right, guys??)
Anyway, let’s talk about what’s happening with Problems. Opener “Don’t Stop Now” finds keyboardist/vocalist Chalsey Noelle at the forefront; it’s almost entirely her song save for a few moments of singer/guitarist Andreas Weiss. “Take It All Away” would have you believe it’s going to be kind of mellow, what with a more subdued vocal from Andreas on the verses but the hook quickly casts aside any of those aspersions. One thing THE RABID WHOLE does perfectly is find that just-right level of electronica to go with the basic rock elements. A perfect example of that would be “Bound to Get Worse” because for all the programming and media going on you can hear the live band in there.
I really wasn’t sure what to make of “Patience” until I realized it was an atmospheric, spacey two-minute interlude that gives way to another up-tempo number “Nothing is Painless” which totally channels DEPECHE MODE when they could still write outstanding songs (What, some 20-25 years ago, then?). And the call and response between Chalsey and Andreas over distorted guitars reminded me of some old JESUS AND MARY CHAIN, another band I love. Safe to say this one was the favorite. The EP ends with the title track “Problems.” Now for some reason this tune had to grow on me . I can’t put my finger on why, but on the first spin I wasn’t really feeling it. However the more I listened, the more I liked, and that last minute is definitely a contrast from the inauspicious beginning of the song.
Overall though, THE RABID WHOLE has done it once again. Problems is an EP that is a bit more subtle and moody than the last outing, but it’s still high-energy in all the right places and one that I am equally enjoying whether I’m driving around or lounging about on a lazy afternoon. You can get your copy on September 23, so be sure to check ‘em out.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Nothing is Painless”, “Don’t Stop Now”, “Bound to Get Worse”