YEAR OF THE RABBIT (Elektra/Warner) Rating: NN
Year of the Rabbit avoid a pop/punk rehash of their self-titled debut and head straight to the polished, vast expanses of emo. Chief songwriter and head crooner Ken Andrews has twirled knobs for Pete Yorn and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, but hasn't learned much from either. Every song here heads straight for the middle of the road; and while each swings and rocks a little, their failure to go off to either side at least once brings the album down almost as fast as the realization that Andrews sounds exactly like the Psychedelic Furs' Richard Butler trying to sing grunge.
Year of the Rabbit join Death by Stereo at the Opera House Wednesday (September 24).