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Album Review

by Rackets


Review Date
8th February 2012
Reviewed by
Nich Cunningham

“Help me out: I need love or a shit tonne of heroin” This phrase from 'Goner' off Rackets new album almost encapsulates what they're about: it's a concise and witty observation, blunt and to the point, simultaneously clever and vulgar and, it’s a great one liner. The humour is apparent and it would be easy to dismiss Rackets as some kind of joke band: appearing, at times, half naked or dressed as women they seem more Monty Python than Charlie Brooker. But make no mistake, this self-titled full-length release is seriously good.

What we have here is just under half an hour of music divided into twelve parts. There are some great songs: the high energy/ immediately likable numbers like 'Horoshema' or 'Goner' that you are probably expecting but also a few growers too. 'Staple Guard' is a stand out with its brooding darkness and obscure lyrical matter. Reminds me of 'Why?' from Dinosaur Jnr’s Bug. Maybe it’s the constant instrument swopping between band members but each song sounds fresh and unique in the context of the record. To describe more precisely how the music sounds comparisons could be made to the work of Jay Retard but closer listening reveals touches of Ween, Buzzcocks, Weezer and maybe even the Vapors lurking in there. This album is a distilled brew of a certain vein of popular music and like many of their predecessors; Rackets have made it their own.

A heart breaking work of staggering genius this is not. But there is a raw honesty to it that lends Rackets a vitality. This is not a contrivance. Rackets have a clarity that allows them to pour out engaging music that is coherent in its intention and speaks to common experience. Intentional or not, this filters through into not just the song writing but the production too which is simple, dynamic and never cluttered. It may seem that I am taking Rackets too seriously but I think that these are points that need making. This album is compelling and provocative. But I don’t think Rackets give a shit what I say here and that is what makes them so good.


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