It’s been nearly four years since Bad Rabbits put out their first EP, teasing Boston funk fans with a few genre-busting tracks before hitting the road on extensive tours. In that time they’ve found their way onto the stage with everyone from Mos Def and Wu-Tang Clan to the Deftones, so at this point in the game, it almost feels like a formality to finally usher in the finished product.
But overlook this “American Love” at your own peril. Bad Rabbits have put together a bruiser of a record built on dirty grooves and nasty habits. There are generations of music tendencies here — everything from the Funkadelic keyboard nod on “Can’t Fool Me” (or are they checking De La Soul’s “Me Myself and I?”) to the Morris Day bounce going on in “Dirty.” Vocalist Fredua “Dua” Boakye
growls with hard rock grit on “We Can Roll” but earns his keep with a piercing falsetto straight out of the Prince playbook. Frank Ocean made waves with his delicate and confessional use of that voice last year, but Boakye’s approach is high-flying, shooting straight for the rafters.
ESSENTIAL “Can’t Fool Me”
Bad Rabbits play the Boston Calling festival at City Hall Plaza on May 25.
Matt Parish can be reached at email@example.com.