Edinburgh-based Ded Rabbit (four brothers, originally from Yorkshire) make the kind of alt-rock indie that feels head-bangingly jagged, but also throws out enough tight rhythms to provide groundwork for a vigorous live show.
Latest single ‘Figurine’ opens with a crunchy lick and the quick appearance of a throbbing bass and crashing drums.
It’s a sharp, no-nonsense track which wears a punk ethos on its sleeve, with an energetic chorus backed by shouts and frenzied, infectious harmonies.
Lead singer Eugene Gaine’s frank, accented vocal delivery has a touch of Ryan Jarman about it; though the accompaniment of raucous drums and playful backing vocals (“Figurine, Figurine, Figurine / Oh we’re coming for you”) adds a livelier, brasher take on the Cribs’ more measured expression of social realism.
On the subject of realism, the song is partly about imitation of reality; and, as the title implies, it’s a rather diminished imitation.
There’s a sense of frustration at being held up on a pedestal and in turn shrinking to ‘figurine’ size: “you add to your collection / you fight for my attention”.
The result of this is a kind of daringly chaotic refusal: “we scream and shout / you chew me up and then spit me out”; the song swells in volume and theatrics to match this resistance to being reduced to pale imitation.
While previous Ded Rabbit tracks have earned comparisons to Catfish and the Bottlemen—perhaps owing to the way they combine pop melodies with radio-friendly punk, high energy and an insistent lyrical virility—there’s a sense of stripped excess on this track, a darker streak of indie.
The song opens, over insistent rhythms, with: “this is the new sound / this is the old sound” and then old and new get tangled together until Gaine dismisses the whole debate with “run along”.
Perhaps sick of the problem of genre, of navel-gazing disputes on the future of rock music, the Gaine brothers brazenly embrace their own take on rock and roll with a track that’s definitely got the grit of a set winner.
Words: Maria Sledmere