The best 29 minutes and 12 seconds of 2009 thus far.
Ian Wade 2009-03-20
The Rakes are a four-piece outfit from the London, who first came to prominence in 2005 with the singles 22 Grand Job and Strasbourg and the smashing debut album Capture/Release. Angular and far wiser than their then contemporaries, The Rakes struggled for a bit with a difficult second album, 2007's Ten New Messages - although in fairness, the difficulty lay more in the public's refusal to pick it up, rather than some mental new direction – and after fleeing to Berlin for a rethink, came up with this mighty Klang.
Recent history has been littered with those that fell at the fences. Concepts that run steamless after ten minutes; band names that out-cool everyone else's; haircuts that gives gravitas in these troubled times; Bloc Party rapidly becoming insufferable. The Rakes' Alan Donohoe and chums stuck to their guns, and with ten tracks clocking in just under 30 minutes, they may have made their masterpiece. For in these 29 plus minutes is economy, tunes and a complete lack of waffle. Like a sta-prest Jacques Brel, a George-at-Asda Roxy Music, or perhaps a socks-from-Tesco concerned Bowie, it's Donohoe's poetry of the mundane and way with a word that allows them a wide remit in these challenging times.
Klang Is the sound of a band cladding themselves for the future in wry, possibly deeply important tones. Lead single 1989 concerns The Velvet Revolution, The Loneliness Of The Outdoor Smoker reflects the isolation of the nicotine outcast with v-neck elan. Opener You're In It sinks its edges and hooks into your skin and gradually tears away at your flesh for the remainder. Shackleton is the unlikely sound of Alan with a post-gym horn on. The Rakes do seduction: though it's more of a sofa-fumble than anything that would encroach on Donna Summer territory, before post-coital boredom.
Klang, then: the concise ongoing panache of bricklayer indie. An art bleat collage of angles and booze. The Rakes are one of the finest bands operating in your lifetime, and Klang proves that. The best 29 minutes and 12 seconds of 2009 thus far.