Disturbing New Trash Rabbit Clip Channels the Paranoid Mind

This is an exclusive first music video, part of WBUR’s efforts to showcase New England musicians.

The song “Dead House,” by Boston band Trash Rabbit, is about self-awareness and how it can turn into paranoia. “I can’t relive this again / But I can’t help but go through the thoughts in my head,” lead vocalist Mena Lemos screams over a furious drum fill. The music is delirious and circular, like the swirling thoughts of an insomniac.

To capture that feeling in the music video for “Dead House,” the band brainstormed as many unsettling images as they could muster: dead flowers, streetlights at night, an eerie shot of Lemos in a white dress splattered with blood. Some scenes were taken directly from bassist Nic Adams’ dream journal. (“I have very vivid dreams,” says Adams.) Two MassArt students, friends of the band, shot and edited the film, a blur of lo-fi mayhem that could best be described as a demented home video from years 90.

Throughout the video, the band members rarely appear alone. That’s good, since the three founders of Trash Rabbit, an exuberant garage rock band, have been playing together since the first year of high school. Lemos remembers seeing Adams playing drums the first day of the jazz band class. (The three original members of Trash Rabbit play more than one instrument.) “I was like, ‘Yo, they’re really good,'” Lemos says. “’We need to get a band together.’ And then we did.

Adams remembers it a little differently. “I was scared of Mena when we first met,” they laugh at the memory. “She had this electric bass and she was just going crazy. And I was like, ‘Who East that person?'”

Lemos and Adams joined drummer Gibran Mobarak, and Trash Rabbit was born. They hit the Boston basement scene, developing a rambling, riff-laden style to match Lemos’ brash stage presence. Now all three are students at Berklee College of Music, and their sound has become both more complex and refined. (They also added a second guitarist, Gia Flores.) “We’ve reached the point of maturity where we don’t really need to use all the ideas we have,” says Adams.

“Dead House”, the single from Trash Rabbit’s 2021 EP “Trash Rabbit Presents: Rabbits Rumble”, sums up this change with its pleasant mixture of “consonance and dissonance”, as Lemos puts it. The song fuses virtuoso math-rock licks with punk mayhem and cathartic melodies, pushing the boundaries of intensity without ever really crossing the line.

Lemos says that on “Dead House,” she was finally able to let go of some of her insecurities about her singing voice — at least a little. “I’m not 100% satisfied with my voice on this song,” she admits. “But I didn’t hold back, I think, as much as before.”

The same could be said of Trash Rabbit these days. As high school students, they learned to write songs by imitating their favorite bands. But now, says Mobarak, “We’re not trying to be someone else.”

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