The sludgey, low-end riffs of Portland trio Rabbits aren't exactly as cute and cuddly as their name implies. Their debut release on Relapse Records, Lower Forms, packs mammoth distortion, piercing screams, and thunderous rhythms into an aggressive 41 minutes. The album sounds like a cross between the pounding fury of High on Fire and the gritty sludge of Buzzoven. Drummer “KG” often stands out, creating pulsing, tom-heavy rhythms on “Burn, Sun, Burn” and “The Flow Below”. The vocals are harsh and agonizing, complementing the album’s sound, and frequent tempo changes also keep the music fresh. Guitar riffs, however, are often repetitive and become stale after a few listens. Some of the tracks have already exhausted themselves by the time they finish, like “A Tale of Tales”. Overall, Lower Forms is an intense, if sometimes tedious, debut for Rabbits. DAVID McKENNA
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