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Rabid Rabbit at Empty Bottle | Concert preview

Chicago doom purveyors drown their sorrows in low end.
Photograph: Mariah Karson Rabid Rabbit
By Areif Sless-Kitain |

Don’t let the name fool you. Rabid Rabbit moves at an ominous, glacial pace. The Garfield Park group has grown into a unique and potent purveyor of doom, with an outlook that extends from a placid grimace to an imposing scowl. After several iterations, the lineup has solidified into a quartet unified in vision and intent, featuring not twin guitars but two basses. The subsuming low end is hardly the only way in which the band deviates from its peers.

That much is startlingly evident on the band’s impressive second album, last year’s Czarny Sen, which translates to black dream in Polish, a nod to vocalist-bassist Andrea Jablonski’s homeland. Her haunting monotone approaches a drone, set against guitarist Dan Sullivan’s grim power chords and pro shredding. Her voice lends tonal variation to an otherwise proudly bleak palette. Second bassist Arman Mabry and drummer Mike Tsoulos thicken the concoction to a cosmic funeral dirge.

The group’s talent for the unlikely includes improvisation, as saxophonist Dave Rempis demonstrates via scalding skronk both on the record and often live. He’s not on hand at the Bottle tonight, but Rabid Rabbit’s devastating art-sludge never fails to leave a glorious stain on the local scene.

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