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13 Apr 2015

Review: Jesika Von Rabbit's 'Journey Mitchell'

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Jesika Von Rabbit has worked hard over the last year to establish herself as a solo artist and complete work on her debut solo effort, Journey Mitchell.

The work has paid off.

While she’s performed some of the Journey Mitchell songs live over the past year, others made their debut on the album. It opens up with the haunting instrumental “Metanoia,” which features barely heard messages about taking a journey. After about a minute, a few distorted notes lead into “Glamorous Misery,” a song Von Rabbit has been recently using to open shows. It’s a mix between psychedelic-pop and a dance song.

Another well-known live track is “Psychic Spice,” on which Von Rabbit declares, “I’M PSYCHIC!” before a chorus of “woooo” starts. (Scroll down to hear the song.) Jesika and her grundles have been known to put on an amusing dance routine to this song. “Glamorous Misery,” “Spooky Action” and “Gaydar” are also known to fans who have seen her recent live shows.

However, they won’t be familiar with “Looking for a Weirdo,” which features the pleasant singing voice heard on Gram Rabbit’s albums; the song even includes a few seconds of the piano instrumental of Biz Markie’s “Just a Friend.” “The Way That I Want” contains more of an upbeat rhythm and makes for a great dance track. There’s also a fine cover of Cyndi Lauper’s “She Bop” that’s slower-paced and more haunting than the original.

Journey Mitchell was produced by Von Rabbit’s Gram Rabbit bandmate, Todd Rutherford. Ethan Allen from Gram Rabbit also appears on “She Bop.” Robbie Waldman from Waxy plays bass on “Looking for a Weirdo.” (On a side note, War Drum frontman Jack Kohler has said Von Rabbit makes an appearance on the upcoming War Drum album. Ah, collaboration.)

This album is a strong effort to begin her solo venture. It also appears that Von Rabbit has more tracks in the works, given she has played live material that doesn’t appear on Journey Mitchell. One thing is for certain: When Von Rabbit says she makes “the devil’s dance music,” she’s right—that’s a perfect way to describe the feel of Journey Mitchell.

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