London four-piece The Rakes modernizes classic Brit pop-punk with an artful, celebratory edge in “Capture/Release,” a near-flawless effort. The strength of songs “Strasbourg” and “Retreat” make the band instantly exhilarating—the cheerful snottiness of leader Alan Donohoe finds the right tone on not only these two songs, but on every track. The machine-gun frenzy of each track makes the album blitz by, requiring two listens, back to back and, curiously, nothing gets old. The slower pieces of “Capture/Release” are where The Rakes slightly falter—you want the energy to be on ten all the time. But even “Binary Love,” the new-wave ballad of sorts set in the middle of the record, has a genius melodic hook and strange, inventive drumming, at least for the type of song it is. Surprising, easy and with a swift punch, “Capture/Release” makes The Rakes a band to keep an eye on. (Tom Lynch)
The Rakes play July 10 at Double Door, 1572 North Milwaukee, (773)489-3160, at 9pm. $10-$12.