Rakes, clearly New York has missed you. Not seen here since May 2007, the London four-piece haven't had a record out in the States since their first (and the band just released their third, Klang!, in the UK), but you wouldn't know it judging by the crowd at Bowery Ballroom who are singing along to every word, whooping and hollering and generally going mental. Singer Alan Donohoe, sporting the kind of unfortunate front-only dye-job you might've seen Nick Rhodes wear in 1986, is in top twitchy form, even if he doesn't rock either of my favorite dance moves. (Both of which I've actually named: "The Elbow" and "Hot Corners.") He's got an awkward charisma that could mellow into Jarvis-like appeal in a couple albums. Really. The Class of 2005 may not be the coolest kids in school anymore (and this lot were always the underdogs anyway) but The Rakes, who now include a fifth member on guitars and keys, are as tight and appealing as ever.
SETLIST: You're In It | Retreat | We Danced Together | Terror! | Light From Your Mac | Open Book | Woes of the Working Women | 22 Grand Job | hat's the Reason | Violent | Binary Love | We Are All Animals | 1989 | The Loneliness of the Outdoor Smoker | The World Was A Mess But His Hair Was Perfect | ENCORE: Strasbourg
You can buy Klang! from Rough Trade as an import right now, but hopefully these U.S. shows will mean an American label will release it sometime soon.
Someone managed to shoot video of first album nugget "Open Book" without getting the usual Bowery security shutdown: