The Rakes - ‘Capture/Release’ (V2)

07 Sep 2005

debut-lp from rabid london outfit, and it might just prove one of 2005's most gripping and definitive; release - '05.

The Rakes - 'Capture/Release'That whole East London scene was about singles. And back when I heard (and, ahem, put out) '22 Grand Job' for the first time, I thought it was a defining moment. Yeah, Art Brut 'Formed a Band', Ladyfuzz had 'Oh Marie', The Libertines were admirably astute in their self-predictions ('What A Waster'), but little else quite captured that cool malaise in the same way that The Rakes managed with their astounding debut.

Did I think they'd make a great album? I wasn't even sure that they'd still be together by the time the single was in the shops.

But I was wrong. And while the world and his wife was smoking crack and cutting perfect 7" nuggets, The Rakes were assembling quite possibly, the album of the year.

I never thought that Buzzcocks-esque pop punk could carry so much depth, so much emotion. It seems that with this album, The Rakes were unafraid to paint with bright colours, clearly directing our attention to certain segments, whilst at the same time duping us with their nonchalant appearance, and using this bluffery to expose the inner depths of Ballard-esque psychological imagery.

Seriously: the acute observation of late-night loneliness in a consumerist conurbation, entitled 'Open Book', is a catchy dance number with a chorus of 'woah woah'.

'Binary Love' discusses the adaptation, and potential evolution of humanity through technology and the fears of losing some form of emotional, spiritual essence, in a three and a half minute love song.

This perfectly balanced, eleven-track, thirty-something-minute album, is ideal for setting up your weekend, fixing your hair in the mirror bravado, but sympathetic to a night of rejection in a pills and booze comedown haze. It's refreshingly inventive and it's gutsy too. Released the week of the London bombings and featuring a song about mass paranoia entitled 'Terror' in which every suitcase on the underground could be a bomb, this album perfectly encapsulates the emotional pressure of living in our time; surviving and enjoying a post-apocalyptic comedown. And, as their enigmatic manager will assure you, 'it's a blast.'

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