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The Rakes - Klang

The Rakes, Klang

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2.5 out of 5

THE Rakes hit the ground running on their third album, Klang – but it’s no wonder, given that it clocks in at a spritely 30 minutes.

But while there’s plenty to admire in its brevity and no-nonsense approach to songwriting, there’s also the nagging suspicion that the band’s sound is beginning to sound stale and dated.

There are some gems, such as The Strokes-esque The Light From Your Mac, but in the main this is an LP in which you can tick off the references and inspirations, whilst simultaneously arriving at the opinion this is the sound of a band on auto-pilot.

The first half of the LP, in particular, struggles to really get going, becoming mired in a Franz Ferdinand/Maximo Park and Strokes-style sound-trap that’s not too endearing.

Opening salvo You’re In It drops jagged, ruthless little guitar riffs and a vocal that sound checks Bowie. But lyrically and tellingly, it opens with the telling line “sometimes you can’t smell the shit ‘til you’re in it”.

The Rakes almost then set about providing that whiff of something not too pleasant as they career into the indifferent drum march of That’s The Reason, the full steam ahead The Loneliness Of The Outdoor Smoker, which feels like it belongs in the ’80s, and Bitchin’ In The Kitchen, a bass heavy strutter that includes one of the lamest, laziest vocals on the LP.

Things begin to pick up with the piano intro of The Woes Of The Working Man, even though the song itself contains a rather repetitive central background lyric, while 1989 is pure Strokes post-punk revellry.

You could skip Shackleton completely before album highlight The Light From Your Mac drops one of the catchiest hooks on the LP, complete with charming chorus and a tighter sense of melody.

And then Mullers Rachet trades a lively back-beat with a spritely piano loop that, once again, forces you to sit up, take notice and abandon everything you thought you’d been expecting from the album.

The Final Hill can’t quite sustain that momentum into the final moments of the LP, but at least The Rakes have offered a couple of indications that they’re not quite finished yet.

If you have iTunes or 7digital access, it’s worth checking out our two recommended tracks… otherwise the sense of disappointment on this album is pretty darn massive.

Download picks: The Light From Your Mac, Mullers Rachet, The Final Hill

Track listing:

  1. You’re In It
  2. That’s The Reason
  3. Loneliness Of The Outdoor Smoker
  4. Bitchin’ In The Kitchin’
  5. Woes Of The Working Woman, The
  6. 1989
  7. Shackleton
  8. Light From Your Mac, The
  9. Muller’s Ratchet
  10. Final Hill, The