Release Date: Mar 23, 2009
Record label: V2
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Anyone yearning for the pre-dancefloor, pre-electronic Franz Ferdinand is likely to be sated by the Rakes' third album. The two bands have been touring together, and it's clearly had an effect on the Rakes' sound, although you can also hear Maxïmo Park in their taut, punchy, energetic tunes. The surprise is how good those tunes are, from urgent opener You're in It to the terrific, breakneck That's the Reason.
How much faith can one have in a band that breaks up in the wake of the release of their third album? Shame really as The Rakes' third-time-is-a-charm effort, Klang sounds like the British quartet is sticking to what it knows best: Taut and punchy energy that defined them since their debut, Capture/Release. This same aggression is what carried them through their "difficult" (not for them, for the unresponsive public/critics) second album, Ten New Messages. Plus, it is this minimalist, no fluff and padding approach to rock 'n' roll that we like the best about The Rakes.
Shortly after the Rakes released their third album, Klang, in the U.S., the band announced its breakup and canceled the remaining shows of its tour. Their announcement came across as unceremonious and humble-- they revealed they'd promised themselves they'd quit if they couldn't give the band 100%. If the party was coming down, however, one couldn't tell from the sound of Klang.
In a year in which critical darlings have thus far been defined by either severe art damage or prog excess, it’s refreshing to see a band more interested in writing pop songs than grand, conceptual opuses. Klang, the Rakes’s third full-length release, isn’t one for daring experiments, redefinitions or weirdness. In fact, little separates this album from the band’s 2005 debut besides, well, time.