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 the band called it a day this time seven years ago. The sum of their career was nine singles and three LPs, none of which ever hit the Top 20. But they were far better at what they did than many others who made money and a career out of it.
Here’s the four more than decent singles from the debut album.