The Rakes - Ten New Messages

There's an underlying sense of menace across the whole album, which is unsettling, but the surface is so enjoyable, so infectious, that you'll just forget about that and start dancing. It's this duality that makes this album so rewarding.

 

 

The Rakes – Ten New Messages

http://www.v2.com/

 

It's no secret that we loved The Rakes' debut album here at Incendiary. Hell, we even got them to headline our first birthday bash. So yes, you could say we were fans. But that matters not. What matters is they're back and they have new wares for us to peruse. It's time for us to be honest once again with Chapter 2 in The Rakes' progress.  

 

The World Was a Mess, but his Hair Was Perfect.

 

That's not a bad start. In fact, put that down as my favourite song title of 2007 so far. The song itself begins with wails, drones and a razor sharp guitar hook, instantly transporting you back into Rakes world. It's familiar, it's infectious and yet, there's something different here. You'll probably figure it out by track two. Alan's voice. There's less yelping, more emotion. He sounds less like a screaming banshee this time round; his tone mellows, drawing out a bit of Jarvis Cocker in him, which is no bad thing. He's more experimental and ultimately a lot more confident in his delivery, and he's not the only one. The band's music has come on leaps and bounds since Capture/Release. The album's not as immediate as their debut. The angular guitars are still there, but this time you're not going to slice your fingers open on every corner. That may be a turn-off for some, but then some people stay immature fuckwits for the whole of their lives so what do I care?

 

What I find most impressive about this album is that you can really feel the band trying to push themselves. There's experimentation in voice, tone, lyrics, style and structure. Lyrically, if the first album was the soundtrack to your daily working life, this one is the soundtrack to the world outside your window. There's an underlying sense of menace across the whole album, which is unsettling, but the surface is so enjoyable, so infectious, that you'll just forget about that and start dancing. It's this duality that makes this album so rewarding.

 

If you dismiss Ten New Messages as being less exciting than their debut then you are, quite frankly, a fool. Capture/Release got them a foot in the door, but Ten New Messages sees them looking further ahead. It's the difference between upstairs at the Paradiso and the main hall of the Melkweg. Or the Camden Barfly and Brixton Academy. It's called progress my friend and what makes me grin from ear to ear is that I get the impression they've only just started.

 

Your record collection needs this album.

 

Words: Damian Leslie