Located in Quebec, Canada, Rhino has been playing together for about two years. They finally got around to recording some of their material last fall and created their first self-titled EP Rhino. This is straight-up gritty, garage rock album not unlike The Strokes’ earlier albums. What happened to those guys anyway? This album sounds like a couple of guys jamming in a room together on real instruments who have fun doing it. The album is fun, loose, unpretentious and also has some catchy tunes that will not blow your mind with originality but may keep you coming back for more. The best thing about this album was that I didn’t have to strain my brain trying to figure anything out.
The album starts with an upbeat song “Saigon” which contains that 1950’s style drumming that I’m a sucker for and the main reason that I loved Beck’s New Pollution all those years ago. The song rocks pretty hard and does a good job with vocal duties as the band adds some nice backing vocals to the front man slightly distorted lead. I won’t deny the fact that the second song “So Tired Out” is very similar to sounding like The Strokes. The song is solid despite the fact I wished I heard a bit more originality. There is nothing wrong with paying homage to your influences but this song felt a bit too close for comfort at times. The best and most original song to me was “Glock.” It contained some much-welcomed organ as well as a bit of shedding of their influences and finding their own sound. The EP closes with “Fake Kids,” which was the most exuberant song on the album. Not a bad way to end the album. This a solid debut and while they wear their influences on their sleeves for the time being, this EP shows a lot of potential in a band that is just getting started.
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