Boston’s Bad Rabbits are going back to their roots with their ‘Waves Collide’ EP. It’s a collection of remastered covers recorded over the course of the past decade, touches on artists from Rihanna to The Smashing Pumpkins, introducing us to their unique blend of soul-indie-pop-punk-funk (and, remarkably, that’s just the tip of the iceberg).
One might think that it doesn’t get more soulful than a Michael Jackson original – he was, after all, the Motown baby turned King of Pop. However, with their cover of the 1982 hit ‘Human Nature’, Bad Rabbits match, if not improve upon, MJ‘s arrangement with a flavour that, in this day and age, the original version is somewhat lacking.
In fact, the overarching takeaway from ‘Waves Collide’ is that each choice of cover is arguably in need of a fresh coat of paint, and that’s exactly what Bad Rabbits have done.
The Smashing Pumpkins‘ hit ‘1979’ gets a contemporary overhaul, with velvety vocals that are generously propped up by cool indie-pop melodies and an earthy, rich chorus that hints at tougher stuff. Bad Rabbits lend themselves to funky riffs and R&B vocals, but at the same time wouldn’t sound out of place among modern bands like Don Broco and letlive., which is particularly evident in ‘Walkin’ On The Moon’. Their cover of The-Dream‘s synth-infused single blends 80s bubblegum pop and a modern indie tone, while somehow still managing to be infectiously catchy and impossibly cool.
‘Love On The Brain’, taken from Rihanna‘s 2016 album, ‘Anti’, is the perfect final note for the EP. It’s a complete reworking of the original, and showcases Bad Rabbits‘ unique ability to pair smooth, rich 90s R&B vocals with modern alternative rock arrangements and a touch of American punk. It’s a combination that one might not expect to work, but, at least in the capable hands of Bad Rabbits, it absolutely does.