Rabid Young prepares to go public

Jason Harris

I’m in a warehouse on an industrial stretch of Russell Road. Through a maze of music studios, I end up in a back room, swathed in blue light. There, Rabid Young, one of Las Vegas’ most anticipated new bands, is playing a preview set for the Kickstarter backers who made their self-titled EP financially feasible. It’s right out of a movie.

Most of the players in the live lineup are familiar: lead singer/keyboardist/guitarist Eric Rickey from Most Thieves; bassist Jackson Wilcox, the frontman from A Crowd of Small Adventures; ACOSA violinist Megan Wingerter, exclusively playing keys here; drummer Matt Long, who plays with psych-rock icon Roky Erickson; and another from the Erickson band, Eli Southard on guitar. On the group’s self-titled, five-song debut EP, due out April 7, Bobby Lee Parker and Alex Stopa handle guitar and percussion duties, respectively.

These are some of the indie scene’s finest, but this music fits more in a synth-pop space. These are songs you could conceivably hear on X107.5 or even Mix 94.1—“Pieces,” with its catchy keyboard loops; “Not Enough,” with its sing-along vocals.

Rabid Young will likely get compared to The Killers, and that’s fair, especially on the dreamy, synthy “Intro/The Miner.” But I hear similarities to other crossover bands. Early Gaslight Anthem. The emotionally tinged Airborne Toxic Event. And accessible ’90s alt-rockers New Radicals.

It’s a surprisingly tight set, considering it’s Rabid Young’s very first performance (“It was nice working out the kinks in front of friends,” Wilcox says.) The group will debut in public on April 17 at the Bunkhouse, and according to Rickey, who writes most of the music and lyrics, plans to do some “strategic touring this summer, including overseas.”

Rabid Young EP out April 7, First show April 17, Bunkhouse Saloon.

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