The Rakes - Capture/Release

by James Briscoe Rating: Release Date:2005-08-15

Primarily, I think I should note that as I write this, The Rakes are no longer together. They broke up in October 2009 due to a lack of understanding amongst the band members; although I guess you hardcore fans out there will already know that.

Since their introductory album, Capture/ Release in 2005, The Rakes have released a new album every two years, their last being in March 2009. Capture/ Release is often viewed as the most significant of all three albums, with Ten New Messages and Klang not quite making the same impact.

Capture/ Release offered the hope of something new and interesting, something sometimes weird but exciting. I guess it was a bit like 'Dr Who' when it first hit British TV screens. 'Binary Love' continued that science-fiction theme with its lyrics about a robot who has fallen in love with a human female: 'despite the metal and wires, I still have human desires... I can feel all the things that we can't share'. Binary Love held all the eccentricity to suggest that Capture/ Release was the start of something special and it was but whether that 'start' even had a 'middle', is open to debate.

In addition, like a possessed dalek, the overall essence of the album is troublesome to pin down. We have tracks, such as 'Strasbourg', which is anthemic and gung-ho and then there is 'Open Book', full of turmoil and the previously mentioned Binary Love. However, Strasbourg and '22 Grand Job' do gravitate together as they are equally sentimental and current-sounding. In 22 Grand Job, lead singer, Alan Donohoe, sings about work and city life: 'The girl from work looks alright, but the lights are too bright. Bloke in sales likes her too, what am I supposed to do?' Pretty simple really but it sounds cool enough.

An album almost singularly influenced by the city cannot really fail to seem modern. After all, the city, especially London where The Rakes are from, is always new, everything current comes from there. Capture/ Release has this interesting capacity of commenting on modern society, which makes it more intellectually worthwhile than other albums. Maybe the artistic/ emotive aspect of music is more important though.

There seem to be just as many poor or average reviews of this album as there are favourable ones but I have to put this down to what I suspect to be a lack of research/ listening time. Capture/ Release is a very good album; not groundbreaking, but it is still unique despite having similarities to music from other sources.

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