The Lulls in Traffic
Rabbit in the Snare


4.0
excellent

Review

by Rowan5215 STAFF
May 31st, 2017 | 26 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: with each thread you're pulling out, you're standing still somehow

How Rabbit in the Snare sounds and how it feels are two very different things. It sounds pretty much exactly how you'd expect a band with the "indie/hip-hop" tag to sound. Fragile keyboards flutter and swoon around each track, snatches of pitched-up and foreign voices stutter-stepping like conversations from other rooms, with simplistic electronic elements that feint towards glitchiness but never really take the dive. Ivan Ives' slurred, slow delivery is okay at best, but his vivid narratives more than compensate for his faults in the technical area, not to mention his name makes him sound like a Stan Lee spinoff - rapper by day, crime fighter by night. Of course Aaron Marsh will be the draw here for most, and as befits a man who seems to exist outside of time and age his gorgeous falsetto remains constant, dancing like an angel around melodies that were etched on the insides of your ears before you ever heard them on record.

Wisely, Marsh and Ives don't split everything 50/50; Aaron takes point on the Copeland-style "Coldest Night" and "I Can Hear Your Laughter on the Wind", sticking close to his classic falsetto/piano ballads, while Ivan beautifully recreates his family's abrupt departure from Russia due to his father's anti-KGB paintings on "Dominant", and deconstructs a broken relationship with a removed, frighteningly cold hand on the misleadingly titled "Laugh". Neither vocalist really takes a dive into the unknown until "Touch", where a bumbling synth and Frank Ocean-style pitch shift twist Aaron's familiar voice into something alien and clinical; it's maybe too little too late on the experimentation front, but another tick in the box as far as quality consistency goes.

For an album recorded over a span of seven years, Rabbit in the Snare demonstrates strangely little diversity, as Marsh and Ives seemed to have been in the mood for piano-heavy, late-night introspection for the majority of the decade. The upside is that the album, already slight and ethereal to a great extent, becomes divorced from any specific time period or sentiment; more the outline of a portrait of an abstract idea than a shaded-in painting. This is never more apparent than in "The Rope to Pull Yourself Together", first and finest song the duo ever released, far removed in style from Copeland's work and in time from the rest of The Lulls in Traffic's. "Rope" is almost a dream to me, a song heard multiple times in 2011 that I still feel like I've barely even approached, a half-remembered refrain that closes the album in an achingly sad but inevitable way. One of the decade's best melodies glides through the track like a sunbeam, but the message it carries – I get the impression of self-harm as therapy, but honestly who knows for certain - doesn't warm you so much as burn your skin. There are differences from the 2011 version, a click here or echo there where silence was before, but it's so subtle as to be almost imperceptible, like the song is as much a half-dream to the artist as it is to the listener. Rabbit in the Snare won't change your life, and honestly I'd be surprised if it even impacted it – it exists above, or maybe beside all of this, a vague wisp of conversation you almost remember on a misty day. If you're so inclined, take the time to dream it again.



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user ratings (16)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
May 30th 2017


39413 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

a very pleasant surprise, just when I thought these guys would never actually release an album

Digging: The Used - The Canyon

verdant
Contributing Reviewer
May 30th 2017


1877 Comments


great review! this seems right up my alley

Iamthe Nightstars
May 31st 2017


2663 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I liked this more than the last Copeland album. "Laugh" is a chill song.

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
May 31st 2017


15789 Comments


oh didn't expect to see this reviewed

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
May 31st 2017


39413 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Only found out about its existence a few days ago Calc hah, but Rope has been one of my favourite songs for a while now



I like Ixora a little more, songs like Erase and Ordinary are god tier, but this grows inevitably...

guitarded_chuck
May 31st 2017


13666 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

never heard of copeland or ives but im digging this

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
May 31st 2017


39413 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Had never heard of Ives either. Copeland are about as good as indie gets tho! Chuck you might like Eat Sleep Repeat and Ixora

guitarded_chuck
May 31st 2017


13666 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

will check, agreed with how you praise his vocals, hes terrific



great review btw brother

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
May 31st 2017


39413 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks homie. yeah he's always been one of my favourites, literal voice of an angel



check the song "California" first, maybe the best song of its genre honestly

BrushedRed
May 31st 2017


2571 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Was very interested in this because of the genres tagged. I also love Copeland. I have a feeling I'll hate this because I don't like hip-hop. I really don't see why you'd mix those genres but we'll see how it sounds.

oldsoul
May 31st 2017


258 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Interesting point you made about the lack of diversity in the album considering the time it took to put out. I got to ask Aaron about this project during the last Copeland tour, he said part of the reason they were taking so long is because he feels like the electronic music scene progresses to new sounds so quickly, and that he worried that some songs might sound more dated. Now that it's been released I don't really see the cause for concern.



Anyway, I've been enjoying the album, very nice write-up

guitarded_chuck
May 31st 2017


13666 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i may be being a bit ignorant but i feel the only one one could not find not an entire wide-reaching / diverse umbrella genre such as "hip-hop" would be to have never been properly exposed to it

DreamAgain
May 31st 2017


580 Comments


The rap shit really ruins this. It's terrible and the lyrics are bad. i can hear your laughter on the wind is the only good song on this album cuz it doesnt have that rap garbage

BrushedRed
May 31st 2017


2571 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah.. so far what I'm getting is that the rap is not really adding anything to the music and is instead giving me parts I'd rather skip over. It's a shame because "Winding Ivy" and "Coldest Night" are absolutely stunning. The rapping in those kinda kills them, especially since I like the electronics during the rapping part of "Coldest Night". I feel like in the end I'll overlook the rap just cuz I love Copeland but I still don't understand why mix these two completely completely different genres.



Hip-hop may be a broad genre but it all sounds the same to me, sorry.

guitarded_chuck
May 31st 2017


13666 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol ok



proves my point tbh

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
June 1st 2017


39413 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

agreed I mean you're free to not like the rapping but acting like indie and hip hop are two genres that it's somehow sacrilegious to merge is a little strange

DreamAgain
June 1st 2017


580 Comments


So much of the rap just sounds like .. spoken word. Anyways, just wish they didn't have any of that all but then I guess that would basically be Copeland heh. They can mix it all they want, I just don't think it sounded very good.

EaglesBecomeVultures
June 1st 2017


5504 Comments


wow this is trash

BrushedRed
June 1st 2017


2571 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This turned out to be good as fuck. Aaron is always killing it. I thought the same, without the rap it might as well have been Copeland's next album. Even though I feel the rap was unneeded, Aaron's arrangements are always stellar and it's always wonderful to hear his voice again. His voice is so ethereal and haunting. I really dig his electronic experimentation. Ixora reminded me a lot of Kid A. Not necessarily the division or the contemplation, but the sound and orchestrals were similar.

ProjectFreak
June 2nd 2017


2175 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, I need to listen to this more, but it left a great first impression. I Can Hear Your Laughter on the Wind was great. I've somehow never really listened to Copeland but Marsh does great work. Ace review too



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