by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: The Rakes - 1989 (click to stream)

Rakes

London's The Rakes are back in New York this week (Monday 4/6 at Bowery Ballroom; 4/7 at Union Hall) for their first shows in almost two years. The band took a break after their second album, Ten New Messages (which didn't get a U.S. release), but reconvened last year in Berlin to record their new album, Klang!, which was just released in the UK. It's been two years since The Rakes last played NYC. Klang! was recorded in Berlin with producer Chris Zane (Les Savvy Fav, The Walkmen). Why Berlin? Singer Alan Donohoe told Drowned in Sound:

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...The album is raw, playful, exciting, complex and schizophrenic - much like the personality of Berlin itself. It couldn't be more of a fitting place to record it. Chris has found this raw but massive sound, it's sharp like razors; like pouring boiling bleach on our peers.

While you couldn't call Klang! a big departure from their two previous albums (tales of urban ennui set to spiky guitars and nervous rhythms), it's another solid record from one of Britain's more underrated bands. Check out the album's first single, "1989," at the top of this post. (Its video is below.) And of the UK Class of 2004/2005, the Rakes have always been one of the best live bands, playing even faster than on record, and are as tight as they are tightly-wound. But for me it's singer Donohoe's awesomely spazzy dance moves that really make The Rakes so much fun to watch, some of which can be seen in a live video at the bottom of this post. below. Tickets are still available for both the Bowery (The Dig and Sean Bones open) and Union Hall (Radical Dads open) shows.

Videos and tour dates below...

The Rakes - 1989

Alan's Dance Moves

The Rakes - 2009 Tour Dates
Apr 6 Bowery Ballroom New York
Apr 7 Union Hall Brooklyn
Apr 21 Concorde 2(w/ Sky Larkin & Official Secrets Act) Brighton
Apr 22 Wedgewood Rooms(w/ Sky Larkin & Official Secrets Act) Portsmouth
Apr 23 Club Academy(w/ Sky Larkin & Official Secrets Act) Manchester
Apr 24 The Button Factory Dublin
Apr 25 Oran Mor(w/ Sky Larkin & Official Secrets Act) Glasgow
Apr 26 The Cluny(w/ Sky Larkin & Official Secrets Act) Newcastle
Apr 28 Rescue Rooms(w/ Sky Larkin & Official Secrets Act) Nottingham
Apr 29 KOKO(w/ Sky Larkin & Official Secrets Act) London
May 2 Grenslandhallen Polsslag Hasselt
May 3 Zakk Dusseldorf
May 4 Batschkapp Frankfurt
May 5 Rohre Stuttgart
May 6 Abart Zurich
May 8 Covo Club Bologne
May 9 Posthof Linz
May 10 Backstage Hall Munich
May 12 Bikini Toulouse
May 13 Elysee Montmartre Paris
May 14 Grand Mix Tourcoing
May 15 Laiterie Strasbourg
May 17 Vera Groningen
May 18 Melkweg Amsterdam
Jul 17 Art Sonic Festival Briouze