“An intriguing, totally new direction. . . like the particular later-’80s
4AD period when Ivo Watts Russell was fixated on Pixies and Throwing Muses,
with loopy harsh guitar, beat, and cooed vocal. . . with a bit of what you
liked about Weezer’s radio hits.”
ÂJack Rabid, The Big Takeover
NYC – Rat Wakes Red’s sad, soulful sound found its roots in James Raftery’s (the boy nicknamed Rat) solo living room recordings, born of just a voice and an $80 guitar. The Rat Disk label exists to give his music a home.
Producer Jeral Benjamin heard these early recordings, of songs inspired by Raftery’s Hollywood earthquake experiences, his father’s death and a cross-country move back to gritty New York, and imagined them embellished with strings, found percussion and layer upon lush layer of Raftery’s voice. “Dizzy on Daddy” (1999) was the first Rat Wakes Red release, a romantic and edgy, cryptic and poetic song cycle of heartache and yearning. The record received airplay on fifty national stations and was CMJ Top 30 on three.
It took six years for the next set of songs to come, and when they did “Horizon Drops” (2005) emerged, with Raftery on guitars/vocals/keyboards and Christy Davis (Kansas State Flower, Mold) on drums. The record became a surprise radio hit, with Top 30 CMJ and AAA airplay on 16 stations.
Now comes “Energy Garage” (Rat Disk), a four-song CD-EP and one music video DVD meant to tide fans over until the next full-length arrives. Born of songs half-completed during the “Horizon Drops” sessions (and a re-release
of “Anyway Now,” as both a song and music video, directed by Antonio Leon, on the accompanying DVD), the sound ranges from spacey acoustic to pop with sweeping strings to quirky rock nugget.
After touring in support of Bob Mould, Hayden and Sloan, extensive live performing in New York and Boston, and a prestigious selection by the Smithereens’ Pat DiNizio as one of the few bands to launch XM Satellite Radio’s Unsigned Station, Rat Wakes Red is ready to reach new ears and eyes with “Energy Garage.”
For more on Rat Wakes Red, visit the Rat Disk label website: http://www.ratdisk.com
For more on producer Jeral Benjamin, visit: http://www.ratdisk.com/jeral.html
Preview songs and video from the new release on the Rat Wakes Red myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/ratwakesred