The World Was A Mess But His Hair Was Perfect
Few bands can claim to be the quintessential embodiment of British culture and these here modern times, but put The Rakes' Capture/Release onto your turntable and you're in a shit storm of contemporary art mixed with the greatest advances in punk and indie of the past 40 years and presented with a dance routine that would make New Order crap their pants.
The Rakes latest musical endeavour, a funky little tune called The World Was A Mess But His Hair Was Perfect, has quickly proven to be a live favourite with its All To Human vocals and intergalactic super-riff that bombards the close of each line covering the song in complex opulence. Out there on the mighty world wide t'interweb is an 18 minute long remix of the track that by hook or by crook manages to hold its own from start to finish, glued together by melancholy urban ramblings that seem to beautifully go nowhere. Alan Donohoe's art rock poetry cuts through the dance beat and satirically saunters along the now infamous musical expression to somewhere The Rakes have yet to find themselves. Renowned for their witticisms on binge drinking and out-of-office socialising, this complete political stab at the Iraq war and, as the title would suggest, the downfall of the world or 'mess' that which we humble Brits find ourselves in, is braver than Capture/Release ever dared be.
This isn't a dance remix as they've existed before as there aren't really any changes throughout, with the exception of the stripped down gooey centre and beat box blast of the final few minutes. This is simply more of an 18 minute long song with devastatingly brilliant verses shadowing an original Talking Heads dejection and supported by the aforementioned guitar manipulation. Alan relentlessly gallops through to the songs climax with inane and obscure comments including, "And a pint of that/How much/No way/It's OK/I'll have to use my card", which will no doubt be missing from the final radio edit of the number due out in the near future.
Layered vocals over sensational drum loops and incredible guitars coalesce with this songs message turning from the bands usual sunny disposition into a new realm of vividness. Give this song a snoop and if you can track down the full-on unremitting assault of its 18 minute long cousin, give that a whirl and see how you feel.
As a side note, I just happen to be a supermassive Rakes fan, a hanger-on if you will from the bands Transgressive Records debut, and this for me is among, if not tripping above, the best of their shifting efforts. so go away and dance you bastards.
By Alex Lee Thomson