Rhythm & Views

Gram Rabbit

Imagine if you will, a punky Nancy Sinatra crooning a duet with tweaked impresario Lee Hazlewood to the accompaniment of My Life With the Thrill Kill Cult, and you'll have some idea of the electronic twang decadence stirred up by this pleasantly twisted trio from the desert of Joshua Tree, Calif.

To make the mix more engaging, the members of Gram Rabbit have created a quasi-mystical, self-help manifesto--kinda like a cross between EST and Freemasons--as the (hopefully ironic) graphic-design hook and thematic framework for their debut album.

Coolly seductive front-woman Jesika von Rabbit brings to mind a campier, swinging-'60s version of Lydia Lunch fronting an band that values samples, bleeps, burbles and dance rhythms as much as it does spaghetti-Western guitar profundity. Occasionally, the combination recalls the groovy, post-modern electronic strut of the now-defunct Ethyl Meatplow, a decadent cabaret-style group of about a decade ago that featured eventual Geraldine Fibbers chanteuse Carla Bozulich.

The musicians keep things lively with the deceptively gentle psychedelia of "Kill a Man," the creepy robotic rap of "Cowboys and Aliens" and the sarcastic, Vegas-style lounge disco of "Cowboy Up." Music to Start a Cult To is always fun and never boring, but you may feel the need to bathe after listening to it.

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