Run Rabbit Run
(Tragic Hero Records)
While Raleigh's Downtown Live continues to exhume staples of mainstream rock from decades past and fans keep turning out in large enough numbers to make that kind of booking profitable, the Triangle music scene is far from a proper incubator for local rock acts looking to score big on the right side of the dial. The closest brush with modern rock fame in recent memory, that of Far Too Jones, was a decade ago. Still, this pair of EPs finds two Triangle bands, Boxbomb and Silver, playing it straight and using big modern rock sounds—in effect, trying to break that slump.
After forsaking the emo-tinged post-grunge of 2006's Golden EP for spare, strummed acoustic ballads on the full-length follow-up My Obsession, Boxbomb returns to its strengths on Run Rabbit Run. The fuzzy, full-throttle "Stay Awake" highlights the five-track digital release with a fat bass groove and insistent hook. Distorted bass snakes through "Bomb Like a Lover," its title hinting at the explosive vocal contained within the headbanger. While Run Rabbit Run isn't devoid of missteps—the slinky disc closer "Always Imagined" is marred by bland guitar noodling—those who like their hard rock polished will nonetheless be pleased.
Raleigh trio Silver captures both the anthemic, British-affected vibe and obscured spirituality of fellow Southern boys needtobreathe, bestowing opener "Beautiful Things" and the driving "Spin Cycle 1.0" with heaps of delay, echoed vocals and soaring refrains. The disc's latter half—purportedly the darker, negative side—cranks the distortion. An overwrought guitar solo detracts from "Ghosts," while a swirling coda of guitars and harmonies elevates the weary "Fighter." Patrick Downing's rhymes tend to be a bit predictable, though, so the deliberate pace and reduced arrangement shape a double-edged sword.
Boxbomb plays a free release show Friday, Feb. 20, at Local 506. Openers House of Fools and Lake Inferior start at 9:30 p.m. Silver releases +/- Saturday, Feb. 21, at The Pour House, with Runaway Cab and A Clerestory opening the $5 show at 10 p.m.