Out of all the so-called British dance-punk bands to pop up over the past couple of years, I always thought The Rakes were the most guilty of emulating the Gang of Four sound. Not that I held it against them; their debut album Capture/Release was an enjoyable blast of raw post-punk angst, but maybe just a little too raw at times for my taste. Still, I was curious to see if they would progress on their sophomore record Ten New Messages. It is definitely more subdued, but no less urgent in terms of the rhythm section. This time they've also given themselves room to work in some deft and fragile melodies between the furious guitars, and it's quite an accomplishment. For a taste of what I'm talking about, check out this b-side "Cold", and one of my favourite tracks from the album "Little Superstitions". They both just might be more intoxicating than anything I've previously heard from these fine blokes. Look for Ten New Messages in stores now.
» Bonus Track: Little Superstitions
» Buy it on Amazon