The Rakes first gained prominence with their infectious single ‘22 Grand Job’ but for whatever reason and despite backing from NME, their first album Capture/Release did not get the kudos that was expected. This was probably due in part from the spotlight being firmly shined on fellow Londoners, Bloc Party and their tremendous debut. The Rakes do not seem to be to bothered though, and in Ten New Messages they have come out with an album that is a delight to listen to.
It starts off well with the fantastically named opening track ‘The World was a Mess but His Hair was Perfect’. With its great guitar break and super-tight rhythm section it has a strong statement of intent. Track four track ‘Trouble’ starts with what can only be described as a blatant rip off of Interpol’s ‘Slow Hands’ but in two quick bars it strays from that course and outdoes it on all grounds.
It seems apt to compare this album to that of contemporaries, as their’s is a sound that seems to owe more to the 2000s than it does to any bands of the past. It almost feels as though this album would not exist if were not for the efforts of bands like The Strokes or Bloc Party.
Nothing shows this more than the first single, ‘When Tom Cruise Cries’ (again, great name), which sounds like a hybrid of those two aforementioned bands, plus Pete Doherty on vocals, and sounds absolutely brilliant.
The standout tune is without doubt ‘Suspicious Eyes’ in which the band works in collaboration with rapper Raxstar. The song deals with the aftermath of the 7/7 terrorist attacks in London and the racism it was successful in creating. The song has some fantastic lyrics and is successful in driving its message home.
Overall, Ten New Messages is a good little album that this reviewer would not hesitate to recommend.