One of the best UK bands of the last couple years are London’s the Rakes. Certainly the least-heralded of the bands that followed in Franz Ferdinand’s wake. I think it’s cause they don’t try to be cool. (Well, the bassist tries just a bit.) Singer Alan Donahoe is one of the more convincing, funny misfits out there, a boy of perpetual nervousness whose elbows do magical things on-stage. They are grrrrreat live.
Ten New Messages is the Rakes’ second album, due March 19 in the UK. Is it as good as Capture/Release? Too soon to tell. As far as second albums go, it is miles better than the new Bloc Party, even if they pretty much stick to what they’re good at. Obviously there’s nothing wrong with that. Not so many tales of drunken 20-something ennui this time, but certainly one album of those is enough. I think Donahoe’s delivery — deep voice, strong accent — carries a lot of it, but the band make slinky, sexy post-punk-inspired music that is better than most of the bands that get quadruple the exposure.
Not sure what the Rakes’ label status is in the US. They were signed to Dim Mak before. Thier UK label, V2, no longer has an American counterpart. Surely someone will have the good sense to put out Ten New Messages. Here’s the single, "We Danced Together," plus my other favorite (so far):
MP3: The Rakes – Trouble