Modern life: still rubbish. The Rakes? Still pretty good

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The Rakes – Klang!

In the “new Britpop” rush of 2004, The Rakes came over like a cross between Blur and Pulp – offering tuneful social observation, but on a shoestring. It’s a formula that served the band well through two albums rich in anecdotal detail (Capture/Release and Ten New Messages, both of which might as well have been called Got Pissed After Work), a method which, with minor adjustment is continued here.

Not so successful they’re self-conscious (viz the Franz Ferdinand album), instead, the band’s decampment to Berlin to record has resulted in a concise statement of renewed interest, resulting in a debate between life expectancy and boredom (“The Loneliness Of The Outdoor Smoker”), and a brief mutation into Roxy Music (“The Woes Of The Working Woman”). In “Muller’s Ratchet”, meanwhile, they provide the best conflation of bar work and evolutionary genetics of the year so far – a testament to the continuing power of this excellent, eccentric band.

JOHN ROBINSON

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