Rakes Retreat

Following in the footsteps of the Futureheads, Bloc Party and Maximo Park, the Rakes are another high energy, danceable British band who have received the Midas touch of producer extraordinaire Paul Epworth. Using the razor sharp guitars of Wire, the Buzzcocks’ punky bursts of melody and occasional nuances of the Fall’s mid-’80s catalogue and Mark E. Smith’s wordplay, the Rakes have all of the features necessary to strive in a world where British guitar rock has found a healthy niche. Retreat, their North American debut, is an EP that is meant to tide us over until their full-length Capture/Release (already out in the UK) finds itself a release over here in 2006. Lead track and single "Retreat” is a dynamically charged portion of post-punk that is built for the dance floor and exposes their busy night-lifestyles. "Strasbourg” raises the tempo with a shouty chant about a German jaunt, and "22 Grand Job” explains how viable a salary of those figures is in London with Brit wit and a sharp melody to boot. "Dark Clouds” and "Something Clicked and I Fell Off the Edge” are conscious b-sides, but still prove better than most bands’ a-sides. Finally, Epworth appears as his Phones alias to remix "Retreat,” which is easily the EP’s weakest moment, but nonetheless pumps some new blood into the track that would suit a club nicely. (Dim Mak)