WHILE THE RAKES RELEASE “KLANG” THEIR THIRD ALBUM IN THE UK THIS WEEK THEY EMBARK ON A STRING OF NORTH AMERICAN DATES NEXT WEEK
“A testament to the continuing power of this excellent, eccentric band.” – 4**** Uncut
Produced within the four walls of a former DDR radio station in East Berlin, The Rakes are set to release their third album Klang this Spring 2009. Exactly two years and four days apart from their previous album, Ten New Messages (March 19, 2007), and a debut that was compared to the fame of The Libertines, The Rakes have stayed strong through a period of great change. While the past two years have witnessed a series of transformations, where no one smokes in pubs anymore, everyone’s on Twitter, and those 22 grand jobs in the city are definitely NOT alright, musically speaking, most bands who emerged alongside these post-punk/new-wave Londoners have ceased to exist. However, The Rakes have witnessed some new changes of their own – reinventing their sound, and creating their freshest, most innovative album to date.
Reuniting with a fresh new perspective, The Rakes confronted the processes necessary in completing their third album with careful composure. For starters, the song selection process was much more stringent and selective, with the overall sound focused around rawness and energy. “The second album was all about trying to expand the sound,” Matthew admits. “Working with producers like Brendan Lynch and Jim Abbiss. This one was in the opposite direction. That very, simple direct thing. Doing it in two weeks, a song a day, not embellishing things at all and just capturing ‘a performance.”
But perhaps the most captivating change for The Rakes that truly defines Klang is relocating to a fresh environment to record and produce the album in a Bauhaus designed ex-Soviet radio station in Berlin that was converted into a studio. Berlin, a scene filled with musical triumphs and countless musical rebirths allowed The Rakes to write what they deem to be “their strongest songs to date.” “The London music scene is so dull right now – it’s like wading through a swamp of shit. We just wanted to be somewhere more inspiring,” said Rakes singer Alan Donohoe. “Someone suggested Berlin. It didn’t take long for everyone to agree, we packed our bags and moved here just like that. We love it.” The band spent much of the year darting back and forth between their home city and this fresh, seductive new location taking the four lads on an adventure that ignited a sense of gang mentality among the band, living in an apartment on Karl Marx Allee and seeking out new thrills together in a seemingly lawless, unique environment proffered by the German capital.
THE RAKES IN NORTH AMERICA
4/01/2009 – Troubadour – Los Angeles
4/02/2009 – Popscene – San Francisco
4/062009 – Bowery Ballroom – New York
4/07/2009 – Bell House – Brooklyn, New York
The results of such an invigorating, wreckless, energetic environment resonate throughout Klang – a record of svelte lissome with songs that are well drilled and clinically executed, abandoning the chaotic energy of their early years for a sound that encompasses the bands’ juxtaposition of adventure and maturation. With credit directed at producer Chris Zane (Les Savy Fav, Inouk, Asobi Seksu Passion Pit, The Walkmen) Klang is a thoughtful piece of work by a band who have been wrung through the hype machine and have since shaken themselves off, realizing their strengths, and creating an album that captures the natural energy, complexity, rawness, and directness that encompasses the overall identity of The Rakes.
Standout single “1989” boasts the bands’ attitude of fist-pumping British rebellion with rhythmic bass-lines and assertive vocals guarunteed to get the floor shaking.
WATCH THE OFFICIAL VIDEO FOR “1989” NOW!
“So darn catchy” – The Fly
“Another bony-bundle of modern neuroses” – Q 3***
“Back to spikey business for Alan Donohoe and co” – NME
“This is a brilliant, brilliant album” – Word