LANDFILL INDIE? – A FRESH SERIES FOR MONDAYS (Issue 4)

Those of you with a decent enough memory should know where this one is heading……that is, if you recall the occasion, in December 2016, when I pulled together a short piece about The Rakes:-

Back in 2004/2005, the UK charts were seemingly dominated by a plethora of emerging guitar-led bands, very few of whom lasted the course beyond the debut LP. One of my favourite records from the period has turned out to be Capture/Release, the debut LP by The Rakes. Now I’ve tried over the years to be an avid reader of blogs, but I haven’t read too many pieces that have mentioned far less praised this particular record. Which is a bit of an oversight in my humble opinion…..

The Rakes never really fitted in with any genre – some thought they were from the post-punk art scene like Franz Ferdinand, Maximo Park or Bloc Party, while others thought they were just another London band like Razorlight or The Libertines who owed their success to a lazy, fawning media.

I first heard the band through seeing some of their videos on MTV2 and thinking that they were infectiously catchy songs. I’ll be honest and admit I never rushed out and bought anything right away, nor did I go along and catch them playing live. But in due course, maybe about a year after it came out, I picked up a second-hand copy of their debut LP and gave it a listen. Eleven brilliant pop songs in just over 30 minutes – and a record that really should have gotten a lot more critical acclaim at the time.

I bought follow-up LP Ten New Messages not long after it was released in March 2007, and it too became a bit of a favourite, although like a lot of records that I bought in 2007 wasn’t listened to all that often as I spent a fair chunk of the year working in Canada and far away from the record collection. And then blogging sort of took over and bands like The Rakes, The Libertines and The Futureheads, all of whom had released some cracking stuff over a two-year period, were sort of forgotten about as I delved further and further back in time and listened to loads of old vinyl for the first time in years.

The band released their third LP in 2009 – Klang – but it proved to be a flop and they called it a day soon after. But The Rakes, I would argue, were far better at what they did than many others who made more money and managed to eke out a longer career.”

Which is why, some four and a bit years on, I have no hesitation in refusing to have any of the Rakes CDs or 7″ singles put out with the rubbish.

Indeed, if I happened to be passing a landfill site and saw any of their material as part of it, I would quite probably climb the fence and do a bit of rescuing – especially if I’d been drinking.

Last time round, I featured the singles Strasbourg, Retreat, 22 Grand Job and Work, Work, Work (Pub, Club, Sleep), all from the debut album. Here’s a couple more singles, this time lifted from the second album:-

mp3: The Rakes – The World Was A Mess But His Hair Was Perfect
mp3: The Rakes – We Danced Together

And ,also from the same release back in 2007, a track on which there are a number of guest vocalists, including the soon to-be-famous folksinger, Laura Marling:-

mp3: The Rakes – Suspicious Eyes

I think this all demonstrates they were a cut above the norm, but feel free to differ.

JC

3 thoughts on “LANDFILL INDIE? – A FRESH SERIES FOR MONDAYS (Issue 4)

  1. As soon as you started this series, The Rakes were the band I immediately thought of. Not because they deserve to be tossed but because they seem to be totally forgotten. I’v got the three albums and although I don’t listen often, am always delighted to be reminded of the quality.
    They always seem much more an English response to The Strokes, especially on Ten New Messages. The understated yet insistent guitar and half-mumbled vocals (especially on “The World was a Mess but his Hair was Perfect” – what a title!).
    Not landfill.

  2. I think I unfairly judged them as the epitome of landfill indie at the time. Now in hindsight I can see their influence in bands like Sports Team and Yard Act. Yeah. I bought the first album and probably dismissed it promptly after. 22 Grand Job is a banger though.

  3. I still love the 17 minute version of the World Was A Mess. I think it was done for a fashion show.

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