It’s been five years since London band The Rakes burst onto the music scene, armed with a catalogue of short, sharp post-punk tunes. Indeed, their debut, Capture/Release, was one of 2005’s musical highlights and it seemed they were destined for very big things, which never materialised. Their second album, Ten New Messages received a decidedly lukewarm reaction from critics and fans alike and failed to build on the momentum of their first album. So, could third effort Klang be the album to propel them to big things?
Klang was recorded in Berlin, due to frontman Alan Donohoe’s assertion that ‘the London music scene is so dull: it’s like wading through a swamp of shit. We just wanted to be somewhere more inspiring’. So when opening track -You’re In It’ begins with the line ‘Sometimes you can’t smell the shit -til you’re in it’, we are well aware of what Mr Donohue is referring to.
True to the band’s style, each song is short, sharp and in-your-face catchy: the longest of the album’s 10 songs clocks in at three and a half minutes. They’re also packed full of infectious hooks, thunderous basslines and sing-along choruses, while Donohue’s lyrics are delivered with a loveable wit and charm. -The Light Of Your Mac’ is a perfect example: a strong bassline and shrill guitar overlaid with Donohue’s horny young man lyrics. Elsewhere, -1989′ was the obvious choice for lead single:
angular guitars, frantic drumming and a raucous chorus. In short, it’s exactly what we’d expect from The Rakes and while Klang may not win over many new fans for the band, those in the know will be tapping their feet to the hooks while cracking a smile at the lyrics.