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Is “Rabbit Foot” Defeater’s lucky charm?

Defeater - Letters Home

We’ve mentioned Bostonian hardcore band Defeater a couple of times in the past few months now. The narrative-focussed quintet are due to release their third full-length Letters Home in just over three weeks, and following on from the first new track “Bastards, which premiered two weeks ago, the band have now released another new one called “Rabbit Foot“.

Letters Home is a continuation of the band’s signature storytelling style; all of their releases to date have followed the trials and tribulations of a struggling New Jerseyian family in a world recovering from WWII. I only really know of one other band who do this – namely Coheed and Cambria, whose albums traditionally take a more sci-fi bent in their narratives – and they’ve been getting a fair amount of praise for it, but possibly some criticism too; guitarist Jay Maas said in 2011:

[quote-symbol symbol1]There’s a prevalent thing in this genre where if you’re not doing what hardcore bands have been doing for the last 25 years almost verbatim, you’re fucking up.

That’s kind of sad, really. If you’re being dissuaded from doing something different purely because it’s different (and not because it’s bad, of course), then something is rotten. These guys are actually pretty good at it, and whatever anyone thinks, they’re doing a great job: there’s an anecdote about a song from Empty Days & Sleepless Nights; during a show in Tennessee in 2011, a group of military men in uniform were in the front row singing the song “Dear Father” along with the band “with tears streaming down their faces”, and one of the soldiers took his dog tags off and gave them to vocalist Derek Archambault and said “thank you”. That’s storytelling power you really can’t buy, and it must have touched the band very deeply. That’s when you know you’re doing things right.

Anyway, “Rabbit Foot” is here, and you can make up your minds for yourselves. I like it, but really I can’t wait to hear the whole record in context:

Letters Home is due out July 16th through Bridge Nine Records, and Defeater are out on Warped Tour throughout July and the beginning of August, so make sure to check them out if you’re going!

Thoughts on continuing narratives across a band’s discography? Looking forward to Letters Home?

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