3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
At last:some life in modern Indie Rock.,
This review is from: Capture / Release (Audio CD)
The Rakes' debut album is full of all the hallmarks of great Indie music; strong tunes, lyrics that you can either relate to or at least can identify as recognisable reflections of the real world around you and perhaps most importantly the twin forces of fire and hunger in the belly. Too much modern Indie is sappy and has had it's rough edges sheared off to the extent that you could see mainstream middle-England housewives humming along to it on one of the major commercial radio stations whilst doing the hoovering. Too many bands are just not edgy or dangerous enough, there is no raw expression on their records and worst of all for the youngsters that buy them, you may find that your Parents or even Grandparents like their music to listen to when driving in their cars or doing the gardening. For example, for all the fuss surrounding Pete Doherty and The Libertines and now Babyshambles and of course his prodigious drug consumption haven't you ever felt that the music itself was dissappointingly bland and insipid? I certainly have.
Not so, with The Rakes. From the opening blast of Strasbourg where their early 80's new wave punk influences are made self-evident, it is clear that this is a band that plays with passion and energy and likes it loud. But, they are far from a one-trick pony and the wonderful Retreat and 22 Grand Job show a keen (much better than a Keane!) ear for a good strong hook and both songs will creep into your cranium where they will stay on continuous play for days on end. The rest of the album demonstrates a definite knack for writing strong accessible (without being overly obvious) hooks and riffs. The rhythm section are astightasthis and the guitar is expressive and memorable. The vocalist has one of those immediate voices that sounds like he is singing directly to you about his own personal thoughts and feelings on a one-to-one basis.
Probably the strongest track on the album is Work, Work, Work which lingers long in the mind well after you have finished playing the CD. Great observational lyrics in the verse coupled with a wonderful bittersweet melody for the chorus.
I'm a Londoner so I appreciate that whilst this album speaks to me loud and clear it might prove slightly too parochial for some tastes, but don't let concerns like that put you off, otherwise you'll be missing out on one of the most exciting bands currently around in this country.
If you like raw passionate music with heart and intelligence that you can still hum in the shower, this is the record for you.