Bad Rabbits – ‘Mimi’

By Liam Knowles

Surprisingly enough, Punktastic doesn’t cover a lot of R’n’B. It doesn’t exactly fit within the standard genres we write about. And yet, here is a review of the third album by Boston group Bad Rabbits – the self-released ‘Mimi’. You’re probably wondering how we ended up at this point.

It’s simple, really. With their immensely fun debut LP ‘American Love’ and the admittedly more serious follow-up ‘American Nightmare’, Bad Rabbits wore their alternative influences proudly on their sleeve; despite clearly being a funky, poppy R’n’B band, there was a rawness and energy to their material that translated well with fans of heavier music. This led to tours with Deftones, Don Broco, Taking Back Sunday and more, as well as appearances on several ‘rock’ festivals, including Warped Tour. Finally, there was a pop crossover into our world that offered a bit more than novelty acts like 3oh3 and their ilk.

Unfortunately, ‘Mimi’ feels more like the kind of derivative, throwaway pop the first two albums were rallying against. The opening title track features a simple synth line and some fairly lazy lyrics like ‘Mimi, you know it’s all about you, you’ alongside lines about hashtags and Instagram; it feels like the sort of thing Bruno Mars might leave on the cutting room floor for someone else to sweep up. There’s always the chance it’s meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but it’s still cringe-inducing. ‘F on the J-O-B’ doesn’t fare much better – despite featuring some clever lyrics from the perspective of a hapless office pervert, the song itself is just a bit on the thin side.

It’s not all negative on this record; tracks like album highlight ‘Mysterious’ and ‘Eyes On You’ feature the same bombastic groove and infectious melody of Bad Rabbits’ earlier material, but these impactful moments are the exception rather than the rule, and aren’t enough to make the album truly come to life like you want it to. There’s also no denying the talent on show, both in the band themselves (vocalist Fredua Boakye is exceptional) and in the quality of the super slick production.

Closing track ‘After Party’ features some lyrics that are either a) a homage to R Kelly’s ‘Ignition’ or b) shamelessly stolen from R Kelly’s ‘Ignition’. Either way, it’s a lazy-sounding end to a mostly soulless record, which is a crying shame considering the quality of songwriting we’ve come to associate with Bad Rabbits. Its redeeming feature, if there is one, is its inoffensiveness. ‘Mimi’ will no doubt be the perfect thing to stick on in the background at pool parties this summer, but it isn’t likely to make any waves.

LIAM KNOWLES

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