Get addicted to young punk band Phoenix Crack Rabbit
Rozie Beth remembers the first time she saw Kurt Cobain on television.
She was 5 years old and her rock-loving dad watched clips on MTV.
“Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ video came out and I remember watching TV, fascinated,” recalls Beth.
She says at first she had a crush on Cobain. Then, in her early teens, she changed her mind: “I’d rather be him. ”
Today, Beth is the singer and guitarist of Crack Rabbit, a young local punk band with a show this Thursday, July 22 at the Yucca Tap Room. She is joined on stage by Riley Macluskie (drums), Michael Andriano (lead guitar) and Chris Carpenter (bass).
Crack Rabbit is a group with varied musical influences; you can hear the ingredients of grunge, pop, metal and punk in their songs. Beth’s deep voice sails on a strong, rough wave of distorted guitar and punchy drums; her tone switches to boredom in “Jailbait” and pains in songs like “Rise Above”. Andriano’s guitar can crack in songs like “Keep in Mind”, arguably their most punk song, and contain a distorted riff like in “Jailbait”. But Macluskie’s drums are at the heart of every song, tight and passionate.
While Crack Rabbit’s current roster is strong, it took a while for the group to come together
Beth has spent five years researching the current Crack Rabbit roster, and her resolve has never wavered although there have been many unsuccessful attempts to form a band: to “party and party”.
A particularly catastrophic spectacle in 2019 turned out to be fortuitous. A previous iteration of the band performed at the Palo Verde Lounge in Tempe, and at the end of the show, Beth told the drummer and guitarist to take a hike.
Current drummer Riley Macluskie, who has known Beth since childhood, was in the audience that night. At this time, Macluskie played drums for the group Love Child Melancholy.
“I remember thinking she had some really good songs,” Macluskie says. “But their drummer was horrible, one of the worst I have ever seen. I wanted to say, ‘You know, I’m not trying to get into your group, but you need better.’ ”
At the end of this Palo Verde show, Beth walked over to Macluskie. Before he could say anything, she asked him if he wanted to come and play the drums at the band’s rehearsal. And right before this practice – another lucky event – Macluskie found a guitarist on a dating app who was looking to join a band.
“I’m going to meet this group for the first time,” Macluskie said in a message to Michael Andriano. “Maybe you want to check it out too?” Andriano showed up at the band’s rehearsals with his guitar case.
For Beth, it was good. Then Andriano found bassist Chris Carpenter, and they were rock solid. Crack Rabbit had finally come true from a dream Beth had when she was 10, to a full-fledged band in October 2020.
“After the band formed, we started looking for gigs ourselves,” says Beth, “and before we knew it people started contacting us.”
Crack Rabbit spent most of 2020 writing new tracks, despite releasing an EP, Cherry Pie, and performed a Halloween show in California. Currently they are working on an LP with AR Studios which is due out later this year.
“I know I still have a long way to go,” says Beth. “But even just that, the sites that contact us, it’s so satisfying.”
Crack the rabbit. With The Nexxt, The Jena System and Headstrum. 8 p.m. Thursday, July 22. Yucca Tap Room, 29 West Southern Avenue, Tempe. Free entrance.