Album Review: The Rakes – Klang

By on Monday, 9th March 2009 at 3:30 pm

The Rakes - Klang coverLondon quartet The Rakes have resolutely plodded on from one album to the next over the past few years despite their post-punk sounds going mostly unnoticed once past the dancefloors of indie clubs across the country. Still, it’s undeniable the band have knocked out some decent tunes in their past five year existence, namely ’22 Grand Job’, ‘The World Was A Mess But His Hair Was Perfect’ and ‘We Danced Together’. Therefore I am happy to say the trademark features that helped in the creation of the above tunes – i.e., the poppy guitar riffs, the thumping bass lines and the brilliantly observant yet tongue in cheek lyrics of frontman Alan Donohoe – have all been successfully carried over to the band’s third studio album released later this month – Klang.

The album kicks off with ‘You’re In It’, a super catchy tune with an awesome guitar riff that hooks you 5 seconds in (literally). The angst-filled lyrics of Donohoe (“You are exceptional/At being sexual!”) compliment the tunes ragged beat, making this an excitingly raw tune to open up Klang.

Next up we have ‘That’s the Reason’ – an unspectacular punky tune that peaks with a rousing sing-a-long chorus which sees the band enthusiastically repeating said title of the song. ‘The Loneliness of the Outdoor Smoker’ – the brilliantly titled third track of the album showcases Donohoe’s dark vocal style well (often ala Ian Curtis). It’s undeniable, however, that frontman Alan can verge on quite monotonous sounding at times, yet the edgy riffs coating his voice and the sublime little breakdown midway through the song means this tune’s a decent filler. ‘Bitchin’ in The Kitchen’, meanwhile, boasts a super funky bass line – while the tinkling piano riff amidst ‘The Woes of Working Women’ certainly provides a nice relief from the intense guitars of the album.

Klang picks up with track six, ‘1989’. Unsurprisingly, the band have chosen this tune to be the debut single from the album. The poppy guitar, throbbing bass and ‘la la la’ chorus make this a fun little tune that should gain the band some airplay. Donohoe goes onto vent his anger about the dissatisfaction of working life via ‘Shackleton’ – a raw tune that captures the wrath echoed in the lyrics perfectly through it’s many edgy twist and turns.

Another highlight of Klang is track eight, ‘The Light of Your Mac’ – a foot-tapping tune which sees frontman Alan sing in sync with the sunny retro guitar riff. ‘Mullers Rachet’, meanwhile, would not be out of place on Up The Bracket. The Doherty-tinged tune is a nice little ditty, which once again, has the bass line a lot to thank for.

Klang comes to a finish with ‘The Final Hill’. The track is certainly an intriguing album closer since the tune is nothing spectacular. Dark, speedy riffs combined with the usual droney vocals tainting every Rakes song – it’s an interesting choice to close the pretty decent Klang with such a durge tune. Oh well!

MP3: The Rakes – The Light from your Mac

Klang is released Monday, March 23rd. Pre-order the CD now.

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