Syntax Issue 10
Denver Syntax

Fierce Bad Rabbit is neither bad, nor fierce nor any incarnation of a rabbit. They are, however, a new incantation of some of Fort Collins’ finest. Frontman and songwriter Chris Anderson played with The Jimi Austin. Violist Alana Rolfe is the frontwoman for Stella Luce. Tickle Me Pink’s original drummer is Adam Pitner. And Arliss Nancy’s bass player is now also keeping time for this new supergroup.

This amalgamation must be refreshing for all these players. The act’s sound doesn’t feel much like any other their other projects. Theirs is a loping, haunted gospel of car crashes and musical fabric strung-up in the barren willows along a country road. Theirs are songs of some kind watery torture – the shame of miscalculating your reach and understanding of anything, especially one’s self. Theirs are songs of all the ways I do not want to die. While something beautiful, I’m not so sure if FBR doesn’t scare me a bit in the way that theirs is a score to my fever dreams. Er, my waking life.

Fierce Bad Rabbit is Chris Anderson’s songwriting project, but it has quickly grown into an obvious love affair for all the accomplished musicians that Anderson has managed to pull around him. The attraction is obvious, for all the players, for the project. For while Anderson had many of FBR’s songs already composed on his acoustic guitar – the players around pushed sudden life into them and rapidly, the band had 8 tracks that were ready to record.

Anderson says that his songs find him. And like meeting a ghost in the empty, solitary night – you just let it happen. Because you have no choice. Songwriting, for Anderson, is a lifestyle. If not that, then it’s a metaphor for how you should live your life: with your eyes open and cataloguing what you find.

And this new project may just be that kind of thing which will last well beyond the grave; beyond the time when we all disappear from the meanings in Anderson’s words. The breadth that FBR has swirled together in each piece, and their entire current catalog, is remarkable. Each song possesses so many textures and space for linguistic play and meaning-making that, in the end, has the possibility to breathe longevity into the project as a whole.

While the band does make trips to Denver, they are aiming to stretch it out on the road in the coming year. So, keep up with them, here: