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Artist: Rat Wakes Red
CD Title: Horizon Drops
Label: Rat Disk
Reviewer: Joshua Heinrich
Date: 5/5/06

Trading in the cello-laced alterna-folk of their 1998 debut for an indie guitar pop sound with a distinct retro 90s bent, Rat Wakes Red's Horizon Drop is a 12-song, half hour journey into melodic nostalgia. Hints of everyone from The Pixies to Nirvana to Julianna Hatfield bubble beneath the band's sometimes catchy, sometimes dreamy blend of hooks, alt rock dynamics, and nicely layered vocal melodies.

From the punchy, energetic "Powderkeg" to the quirky, upbeat indie rock of "Galaxy" and lovely, plodding balladic closer "Anyway Now", the album's set is fairly consistent and noteworthy, perhaps as much for its overall sound and style as its songwriting. The radio-friendly indie pop of "Wheels", both catchy and emotive, is the instant highlight here, while the sinister groove of "Weekend" and quirky group vocals of its chorus provide something of a close second.

Based in well-crafted pop sensibilities, Rat Wakes Red's Horizon Drop is, without a doubt, a significant stylistic departure from the band's previous output, but it's also one that works. Granted, fans particularly set on the sonic formula of their debut may be disappointed, but those with 90s indie rock/pop leanings will find a relatively strong and nicely produced outing with a handful of pop gems.

 

Rat Wakes Red website: www.ratwakesred.com
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