Sound — 7
Within the slightly less than motley group in the UK's post-punk/new wave revival scene, The Rakes stand out for their rough, edgy sound reminiscent of early punk bands. Getting into more detail, the simplicity of The Rakes' musicianship is what makes the band. "Strasbourg," the track that kicks off the album, will dissapoint those looking for a difficult and memorable riff. But it flows, nevertheless, and the result is a melody that's all about the power of punk guitar. The bass part is far from forgotten throughout the album, specifically in "22 Grand Job." It's turned up nice and loud and for that I applaud The Rakes. This is because punk noise is meant to be louder than it is complex, which Capture/Release succeeds in achieving. The drumming is average, which means it's possible to get by. However, it's not all punk based. The song "Work, Work, Work (Pub Club Sleep)" contains chords performed in an indie rock style influenced by the Strokes. It's all very simple, but the truth of the matter is, bands belonging to this particular scene almost have to lack the will and the ability to make masterful performances with their instruments. Therefore, it can only go so far, which is satisfying for me. Sex Pistols was never brilliant with guitar, bass, and drum performances. Why do the Rakes have to be?
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics are smart. Not as smart as that of Joe Strummer, of course, but it's still smart. The witty observations by Alan Donohue, lead singer and lyricist of the band, are a driving force throughout the album. In "Retreat," the matter of keeping a constant routine is discussed with a result that makes one realize it applies to themself ("Walk home, come down, retreat to sleep, Wake up, go out again, repeat.") Everyday fear is addressed ("Every plane is a missile, every suitcase is a bomb,") in "Terror!" A sudden revelation is placed upon the consumer when listening to the Rakes that everything said is absolutely and undeniably true. Life is predictable and boring according to the Rakes, which often times tends to be true. The power of recongizing society and it's flaws is ultimately what decides the fate of the Rakes. Outlook: good.
Overall Impression — 8
It's good to know that not everyone sounds like everyone else within the specific genre. The Rakes manage to pull off the difficult task of sounding different in every song, a task that couldn't be pulled off by bands such as Panic! At the Disco and Maximo Park. The simplicity of the instruments are brought together with the cleverness of the lyrics to create the original goal of punk music: telling people what's going on. It barely fits in with the category of post-punk/new wave revival, as it drifts away into indie rock and straight up punk territory. Key songs to listen to are "Strasbourg," "Retreat," "Terror!," and "We Are All Animals." However, that doesn't mean to ignore the rest of the album, because by doing so, you'll miss far too much.