By Erik Myers
Fierce Bad Rabbit isn’t keen on being called a “supergroup,” and in our post-Chickenfoot era, who would? But the label is tempting, as they’re packed with some of the city’s best talent at every angle. Their mere existence has enhanced Fort Collins’ music community in ways seen and unseen: Few in Colorado work as hard as they do. Their three years has seen three records and extensive touring – the latest being a 130-show tour which included performances at SXSW and the CMJ Music Marathon. Most (probably all) of those shows had them playing their energetic live shows under hot lights in their stylish formal wear. That’s a lot of sweat.
The Live and Learn EP is a taste of their next album. Like most EPs, it’s a little lopsided. The powerful opener “YOU!” is likely to become a crowd favorite, a showing of pop fundamental mastery in which every element lines up perfectly. The guitar melody sets up the hefty instrumentation of viola, drum and piano with ease, and feels completely balanced even as it shifts about unexpectedly; a product of the clever songwriting abilities of lead vocalist and guitarist Chris Anderson.
Live and Learn’s sole problem is its relentless optimism. It’s not a problem on the title track, but it feels heavy-handed by the closing track “Rich Man.” “Oh, if I could, then you know I would,” Anderson sings of the jet-setting he can’t provide his girl, but he’s a “rich man” nonetheless since everything he needs is right in front of him. You have to wonder what she’s thinking.