Rabbit Junk mastermind JP Anderson has been making music since the 90s, Beginning his career with his band The Shizit and recording two albums before that band ended. He created Rabbit Junk with his wife who goes by the stage name of Sum Grrl, JP writes and performs all of the music and handles the lions share of lead vocals While Sum Grrl also does lead vocals on some of the songs.
I first heard them several years ago when I came across the video for their song “Break shins to this” and thought it was absolutely insane in the best way, their hyperkinetic combination of industrial, metal, techno, and even hip hop elements in that track worked brilliantly. Their music is generally classified as digital hardcore or industrial metal, but in reality it’s all over the place. I’ve heard them do reggae elements, synthwave, and straight up black metal that would do Norway proud. JP paints with a wide sonic palette and the results are always impressive and don’t sound like anything anyone else is doing, and just when I think they couldn’t possibly top whatever the current album is at the time they do exactly that with the next one. that’s been the case with the last several albums and ep’s they’ve put out and Apocalypse for Beginners is no different, this album is incredible and will knock you on your ass.
The album starts out with “Heavy” which starts with some pulsing beats before heavily distorted guitar riffs kick in, JP’s vocals alternate between his cleaner lightly aggressive side and his much heavier death metal style. This song kind of reminds me of something Tim Skold would’ve done on his first solo album.
“Stone Cold” features Amelia Arsenic (ex- Angelspit) on guest vocals, this marks Amelia’s second collaboration with Rabbit Junk, having appeared on the song “Born and Bled” from their Reveal EP back in 2019. There’s almost a fairly punk edge to JP’s vocal delivery in this track that cuts through the beats and slower distorted guitar, If I’m being honest here Amelia sounds almost identical to Sum Grrl on this track.
“Nostromo” is the name of the spaceship in the first Alien movie and possibly the inspiration for this incredible track, it starts out with some beautiful synths before coming in with some great beats, JP’s clean vocals are fantastic allowing his aggressive vocals to hit that much harder when they appear, there’s a great rhythm structure to this song that moves seamlessly from the verses to the bridge and builds to that hard hit at the end of the chorus flawlessly. This for me is the best track on the album, it gets you moving, has a very full sound, and kicks ass at the same time.
“Love is hell” starts out with some great oohs from Sum Grrl with subtle distorted synths before the pace picks up with JP taking the lead, I really like the sections here where JP and Sum Grrl harmonize. This song was definitely the right choice to pick for a single, this would be a great song live with it’s danceable rhythms, hook filled vocal lines, and hard hitting breakdowns. “The Grind” keeps the pace going and is the first track where you hear Sum Grrl share lead vocals, taking on the verses with her rapid fire higher pitch lightly punky rhymes. This is an energetic track that demands to be played loud.
“Bodies” starts out with what sounds like “misirlou” by Dick Dale and His Del-Tones (which was the opening music to Pulp Fiction) with beats before launching into heavier territory, which creates an interesting sonic dynamic.
“Praetorian Aureole” has an almost soundtrack feel with some semi Dubstep influences added to the industrial metal core of this hard hitting track.
“Rabbit out of hiding” starts out with the sound of thunder, rain, and cool clean guitar playing before going into all I can describe as new wave Rabbit Junk Style, Sum Grrl takes over lead vocals on the verses here and she does fantastic on songs of this style (don’t miss her performance on their cover of “The metro” by Berlin, it’s incredible!) This song is fantastic and another top favorite on the album, the mixture of styles here is really cool.
Social and political commentary has always been a part of this band and the title track really hits home with things currently going on in the world, Particularly with the state of things here in America right now. It starts out with some beautiful chime melodies before adding in distorted guitar and pulsing beats. “Can’t see the storm with your head in the clouds” is a great lyric that really describes a lot right now.
If you like bands in the vein of static-x, 3TEETH, and Mindless Self Indulgence then you’ll love Rabbit Junk. This album is really good and distills everything that’s great about their music, it’s their most musically consistent release while also blending varied musical influences that keep everything sounding fresh from start to finish.