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Artist: Rat Wakes Red
CD Title: Dizzy on Daddy
Label: Rat Disk
Reviewer: Joshua Heinrich
Date: 5/5/06

Delving deep into mellow alterna-folk, Rat Wakes Red's 1998 debut, Dizzy on Daddy, is something of a foray into the duality of light and dark, moody melancholia juxtaposed against airier, more upbeat offerings. With hints of The Red House Painters, the band's mellow sound, based largely in guitar arpeggios and nicely enhanced by viola, is permeated by strong songwriting by central member James Raftery and excellent production from violist Jeral Benjamin that includes some interesting vocal layering.

The melancholy "Mad Elegant", complete with a nice lyrical nod to Nina Hagen, the impressive rhythm-guitar-based "Last Gasp", and the dark and lovely "Stoned and Ravished" are the real standouts of the disc's 17 tracks, 3 of which are intro/interlude/outro instrumentals. The slightly more mainstream and more upbeat "Ecstasy" and the cool viola and impressive vocal layering of the moody "Widows Burn" also shine amidst a set that is, as a whole, quite strong.

Both emotionally expressive and well written/assembled, Rat Wakes Red's debut is a noteworthy affair. Those with a penchant for dark folk and mellow alternative rock, particularly those with an affinity for strings, should definitely give Dizzy on Daddy a listen.

 

Rat Wakes Red website: www.ratwakesred.com
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