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White Rabbits: Fort Nightly

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White Rabbits

Album: Fort Nightly
Label: Say Hey

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Brooklyn newcomers White Rabbits pull off an amazing sleight of hand with Fort Nightly, popping out of the hat with a debut as fully formed and self-assured as any likely to be heard this year. Comparisons to The Walkmen aren't far off the mark—both groups share an appreciation for vintage instruments and the mod/ska sounds of The Specials—but where Walkmen deals in ragged morning-afters, White Rabbits evokes the champagne-popping here-and-now with buoyant ragtime and lyrical nods to The Great Gatsby's endless, hollow pursuit of fun—and all the self-loathing and damnation that comes with it. The opener "Kid On My Shoulders" charges out of the gate with its relentless piano chug and a spectral chorus of the damned backed by an arsenal of Latin shakers and dual-drums, while calypso rhythms crop up in the shuffling ska of "Navy Wives" and the album standout "March Of The Camels," where a chorus of creepy children (is there any other kind?) lends the song a ghostly Danny Elfman vibe. Rarely has the Inferno sounded this inviting.