Sid Smith says
William D Drake
The Rising Of The Lights
Wacky as a hell but consistently brilliant with it, Drake’s fourth solo album is another dazzling, kaleidoscopic collection of songs in the key of E for eccentric. Recalling some of the manic energies generated during his period as a member of Cardiacs, it’s a strange parallel world where nothing is quite what it seems.
Repeated inspection of the fascinating layers of detail lovingly crafted into the record confirms a playful but intensely keen intelligence whose wry, melodic chamber pop offers a continual stream of surprising and intriguing turns on all 12 tracks.
Content-rich arrangements such as The Mastodon, overflowing with rippling themes, tumbling drums and prodding organ set inside a stirring march evoke Egg’s Germ Patrol or the strident insistency of John Greaves and Peter Blegvad’s Kew Rhone.
Populated with far-fetched tales, wild associative leaps and quick-fire word-play, there’s a guiding dream-like logic whose skewed wit is just as capable of confounding as it is of astounding.
Amidst quaintly tipsy intermissions and Oliver Postgate-on-steroids style instrumentals like Ziegler, piquant ballads such as the sublimely enigmatic, Me Fish Bring, suggest that within Drake’s exquisitely eclectic songbook there’s a yearning romanticism that is genuinely moving.