The Rakes, 'Klang' (V2)

Critical Mass
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by Josh Modell

There's not a ton of polish to these Brits' angled post-punk, which may explain why some of their 2005 peers -- Bloc Party, Maxïmo Park -- won the ratings war. But the group's final album (they broke up in October) still punches like a champ, with sharp bursts of intelligent energy. At times, singer Alan Donohoe sounds on the verge of old-school punk panic ("1989"), then he broods man-fully on "The Loneliness of the Outdoor Smoker." Skinny-tie pogo fiends, you could find worse ways to spend 30 minutes.

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