Splendid Ezine
Deirdre Devers

I only feel somewhat sorry for the record shop clerk who must figure out where to shelve Rat Wakes Red's Dizzy on Daddy after a few in-store plays. I say somewhat because Rat Wakes Red's Dizzy on Daddy is a soothing yet deceptively simple poetic piece. It's easy on the ears but proves to be an eyebrow furrowing genre-classification challenge: is it indie acoustic or postmodern acoustic experimentation? Four years in the making, Dizzy on Daddy employs James Raftery's voice accompanied by tings and pings of found objects, and Jeral Benjamin's string section joins in to enact the characteristics of chamber music. Raftery's harmonious vocals and musical arrangements resemble the placidity of a deep stream flowing along its course while the lyrics are like the eerie, honest confessional murmurs of the lost lives which rest on the stream's bottom. The cascading chorus of the pill-poppers ode "Ecstacy," and the generic zombie film keyboards which form the foundation of Rat Wakes Red's version of Belly's "Silverfish" pay homage to the likes of Kristin Hersh, Kate Bush and Leonard Cohen, who also make pain and loss the cornerstone of their musical melodramas.