Charlotte experimental collective Dinner Rabbits meld eccentric sounds with new album

 By Delaney Clifford

April 15, 2018

Over the years, Charlotte’s music scene has hosted a wide variety of acts as the city expands and becomes more inclusive of genres from all across the board. Within that diversity of bands, there exist an eccentric few known for their abilities to create seemingly unimaginable blends of sound and style, and none appear bolder in that endeavor than Dinner Rabbits. Started by Thomas Sizemore with Hectorina members John Harrell, and Zach Jordan, the trio began experimenting together in 2010, bringing together such contrasted genres of punk and psychedelic rock to show us a brilliant taste of what could possibly be the future of Charlotte music.

L to R: Thomas Sizemore, Zachary Jordan, and John Harrell. Photo: Night Edge Photography

Sizemore and Harrell began writing music together in 2009 after meeting in the humble setting of a Weddington house show, then later on at the CPCC coffeeshop venue SK Net Café before inevitably sitting down to plot what would become one of the most undefinable acts in Charlotte. After having come up with the band name, the pair asked Jordan to join up. Sizemore recalls the moment with a heartwarming nostalgia. “John, Zach and I were all waiting for the train to hang out on North Davidson. John and I were [waiting] in one car and Zach was in one directly behind ours. We decided to open our [car] windows and shout to Zach asking him to make music with us as a trio.”

Three years later in 2013, Derrick Hines of fellow local duo Bless These Sounds Under the City joined the lineup, and the boundless mashup of some of the city’s musical greats was complete.

Photo credit: Top left (La Vie Magnifique Photography), Bottom left (Jenn Mott Redd), right (Kimber Price)

Now in 2018, Dinner Rabbits is setting up for the release of their latest work, Vashuay, a twelve-song exercise in breaking the iron grip of genre. Featuring a vast arsenal of instruments in conjunction with neck-snapping style shifts, the one word that can be used to describe this record with any level of certainty is “unorthodox.” The music of Vashuay oscillates between traditional guitar music and ethereal electronic productions from song to song, sometimes even within the same track. Song such as “The Camera Song” sound straightforward at first; a catchy guitar riff mixed with a touch of synthesizer. But before long, the listener is hurled into the ethereal electronic mania that hallmarks the band’s sound. Shifts like these are more than common on Vashuay – in fact, they’re expected. One of the most intriguing parts about Dinner Rabbits is knowing that the song is going to take a dramatic turn, but you don’t know when, or how. With Vashuay, Dinner Rabbits have taken pieces of entirely separate worlds of music and combined them seamlessly into a record, complete with their own special touch of abstract lyricism.

Speaking on how the record came together, Jordan and Hines both stayed pretty concise. “Long story short,” Jordan said, “these are songs that we’d be working on for a while as a trio and they felt as if they’d work well together.” Hines added, “I was jelly to the peanut butter. Daniel Collins Hodges recorded, co-produced and mixed it. He’s basically the bread.”

Derrick Hines

Dinner Rabbits comes to Charlotte audiences as a band with no concrete definition. It serves as a demonstration of what the melding of minds can accomplish when the boundaries of expectation are pushed to their limits, and in this case, more than likely broken. The quartet offers an experience that not many other bands can right now, and with Vashuay soon to be released, an air of change seems to be stirring; one that could hopefully lead to the further expansion of fellow musicians pushing the limits of what they can achieve.

Listen to the new single “6.1 Million Dollars For Her” from the album Vashuay. Check out the Dinner Rabbits at their album release party on 4/21 at Petra’s as a part of Boom Arts Festival.

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