2015 sees Portland’s RABBITS trio celebrating ten years of antagonizing their surroundings with their diseased auditory droppings, with a new pile of live shows locked up and plans of an extremely limited 8-Track retrospective release.
The news of RABBITS’s tenth anniversary is met with equal amounts of riotous ovation as it is with hurled rotten cabbage and jeers, as the infamously loathed/loved horde gets gnarly this Summer. Amidst three LPs — released by Relapse, Good To Die and Lamb Unlimited, respectively — and an impressive load of singles, splits and other mini releases since 2005, the bandits also helped revive DIY label Eolian Empire in recent years, and have since infiltrated communal grounds with an equally impressive pile of titles from like-minded, high-potency, underground artists.
A RABBITS tenth anniversary show is set to go down on July 1st in Portland; for this extravaganza of idiocy, the band is creating special merch and swag, including an exceptionally limited run (10 copies) of an 8-track cassette retrospective release collection. Also, broken-up early Eolian act, Gone To Croatoan, will perform, and the event will feature cuts by longtime compatriot DJ Wroid Wrage who will bust out the turntables again. The event will be filmed/recorded for posterity. What could go wrong?! $5 entry lands you a free copy of the band’s first 7” or Flexihead postcard.
A week following the gala, RABBITS will play their hometown with Arabrot, Ghold and Towers, and later in July and August sees the band hitting Portland and Seattle several more times.
Last week, BrooklynVegan issued a track from GAY*BITS, a split release between RABBITS and their cohorts Gaytheist which bears new original songs by both bands, covers of each others’ material, collaborative tracks and more, including, “I Quit;” a Gaytheist track re-recorded for this split with Josh from RABBITS on vocals. Additionally, RABBITS this week released a raw practice spot version of a cover of Spacemen 3’s “2:35.”
RABBITS Live Dates:
7/01/2015 The Know – Portland, OR – 10th Anniversary show w/ Gone To Croatoan
7/07/2015 Rotture – Portland, OR w/ Arabrot, Ghold, Towers
7/31/2015 Kenton Club – Portland, OR – GAY*BITS record release w/ Gaytheist, Bobby Peru, Left Blank
8/01/2015 The Funhouse – Seattle, WA – GAY*BITS record release w/ Gaytheist, Tacos, Pig Snout
8/21/2015 Blackwater – Portland, OR @ Festicide w/ Danava, Longknife
8/27/2015 Victory Lounge – Seattle, WA @ Roachella 2015
RABBITS started circa 2002 while Booze was camped out on KG’s floor, the two set out to amalgamate druggy drone rock and powerviolence into a kind of Spacemen Is The Bastard. Experiments with bassists and a singer never panned out, so it wasn’t until Sethro joined on guitar that RABBITS solidified into the guitar-drums-guitar trio that, to the surprise of some and the chagrin of others, still exists to this day. That probably makes RABBITS the longest-running, continuously operating, all-original lineup heavy rock band in Portland, but these three have never been much for awards… or fact-checking.
RABBITS made their first appearance at the deliciously named–and long-gone (“the roaches won”)–downtown Portland space Food Hole, and by most accounts they were way too loud and the singing was very weird. Some things never change. The art brutes doubled down and took up residency at Food Hole (R.I.P.) and Tube (R.I.P.) next door and carved out a small but rabid fan base of weirdos and outsiders, then started hitting the stages at Satyricon (R.I.P.), Berbati’s Pan (R.I.P.), Dunes (R.I.P.), East End (R.I.P.), Slabtown (R.I.P.), and The Know (alive and kicking!). Plus they played about a dozen birthday parties if that makes any sense.
Never wavering from their full-throttle noise rock assaults and underground origins, RABBITS did, however, hone their high-brow low-brow concoctions. Beginning in 2006 with the one-two attack of Sloth vs. Bees 7” and the lumbering Lungs and its extended feedback coda, RABBITS cranked out self-released CDRs of live radio performances and improvised instrumentals, the Hide EP and Riff Fuck Reap 7-inches, all leading up to their raw-as-all-hell 2011 debut LP Lower Forms on Relapse.
Lower Forms made way for their follow up on Seattle’s Good To Die in 2012. Like a rollercoaster ride on a buzzsaw, Bites Rites melds the good and bad, its terrifically tweaked-out hooks never dulling the aggression and misanthropy worn on its sleeve. The S.O.S. (Singles, Other Shit) compilation came out on the band’s own Eolian Empire in 2013, a dig through the vaults deep down the rabbit hole and including nine old-school punk and hardcore songs rabbitized into the red, and last year’s Untoward on Lamb Unlimited may have been their most explosive effort yet, a record that pulls together the best parts of their oeuvre into a spare but stirring record that proves tricks ain’t just for kids.
Untoward – 2014, Lamb Unlimited (12-inch, digital)
Bites Rites – 2012, Good To Die (12-inch, cassette, digital)
Lower Forms – 2011, Relapse / 2013, Eolian Empire (12-inch, digital)
Hide – 2010, Eolian Empire (10-inch)
S.O.S. (Singles, Other Shit) – 2013, Eolian Empire (cassette, digital)
Mars – 2009, self-released (CDR)
CD-R – 2006, self-released (CDR)
Flexihead (Minor Threat/Black Flag covers) – 2011, Eolian Empire (flexi postcard)
Riff, Fuck, Reap – 2011, Powerblaster (7-inch)
Sloth vs. Bees – 2006, self-released (7-inch)
Yr In Luck w/ Arabrot – 2013, Eolian Empire/Fysisk Format (7-inch)
Give Me It (Cure covers) w/ Whores – 2014, Eolian Empire/Brutal Panda (7-inch)
War, Oh My w/ Dead Elephant – 2013, Hell Comes Home (7-inch)
Lungs w/ Under Mountains – 2006, Eolian Empire (12-inch)
Seek + Destroy – live on KEXP, 2014 (digital)
Computer – live on KPSU, 2009 (CDR)
Radio – live on KPSY, 2007 (CDR)