"This record is ruthless and filled with weather. Sometimes rain-addled, green, and gasping; sometimes barren, scorpion-infested desert fire; sometimes constellations. The band (more a friendly militia) seamlessly oscillates between each micro-climate. They are skilled navigators.
There are moments that bloom and flourish, suddenly, and your fingers mash at the increase volume button, to make it even bigger, or to somehow get it loud enough that it becomes tangible: vines growing up your chair, coyotes howling, flies struggling inside pitcher plants, a campfire. This cannot just be sound.
Despite its seriousness, there is something very devious here. Something a little romantic, too. Occasionally the music has a smirk; the awesomeness of feeling wretched. "Late Bloomer" has a mischievous nautical jauntiness. The drums in "Ooh Ooh Ooh" cascade like rocks thrown off a cliff. “In Formation” is so epic, the sun and moon can’t decide whose turn it is to shine.
Rakes was recorded nomadically, in the months between winter and spring, across the pacific southwest, some in studios, and some in an old garage and other homes. Field recordings were made, at a pond, in the rain, among the birds, adding to the soundscape provided by a variety of toys and childhood amusements."
released 16 November 2010
Produced & Mixed by Dirk Doucette and Tommy Santee Klaws at Pine Axis, Christmas Tree Lane, 2023, Slow Stream, and ProHaus. Mastered by John Thompson & Jim Reynolds at ProHaus. Featuring the musical talent of Donna Jo, Samuel Seree, Danny Banes, Jason Boles, Dirk Doucette, Tom Paige, Blasting Company, and Andrew MacIver.
"Tommy Santee Klaws has existed in some form for nearly a decade, conjuring miniature tornadoes, making a ruckus. Like some
of the best Los Angeles new-folky type acts, Tommy Santee Klaws understands the trick of making nostalgia work both ways; into some bright future and the virtuous, murky past. Skinning the old to dress the new." -Gerard Olson...more
Long nails and calloused feet. My mouth and nose are things that bleed. My ears and eyes are full of smoke. The dirt, the hair, and the mold. Twenty years or more ago the fire broke and ate us whole. Thirty pills ago she found the drugs in the bottom drawer. Twenty scabs and sores I don't think they were there before. Skin tags and more were bored and grew on my torso. Twenty years or more ago the fire broke and saved us all. Cover me in your love.
Track Name: Dirty Mouth
I have two hands. They have two sides. One is buried and the other's alive. You've got some mouth. You've got some nerve. I have a hand. You've got some mouth. And I'd love to slap, slap, slap you around. You've got some mouth. You've got some nerve.
Track Name: Ooh Ooh Ooh
Take a hit, man, 'cause I'm a real friend, with a glass eye and a sharp pull. Sister told me about a dream she once had where there were trees and wheels surrounding her, and Mama cuffed to a chair up there and bleeding from her ears. Falling backwards, down spiral stairs. Take a look, man, at what you've Goddamned. Had enough of your... Can't get enough of your... What my sister said made me feel really bad about her pits, but how I wish she hadn't grown up to be such a bitch.
Track Name: Don't Say
Don't say, don't say the thrill is gone, the thrill is gone. Don't say your will will protect you. Don't say that you care. Don't dip your hand into my pocket. Don't say you're not there. Hate, come on, it's time for some great lesson in form and function. Hate, come on, it's time for some great lesson in tact and trust. Don't say, don't say the thrill is gone, the thrill is gone.
Track Name: In Formation
Cut her gut with a hand in glove, with a knife not dull enough. Threw up knots in his stomach, and fell asleep when the sun came up. They sing in formation. Brittle teeth and bad breath, I reek. Bruised veins and fleshy eaves, I'm ground meat. Felt a calm under her feet, then He lifted her to be with Him. They sing in formation. Dirty bridges shade dirty homes. Dirty tunnels through dirty bones. Dirty deeds in dirty sheets. When he woke he heard her voice so clearly in formation. They sing in formation.
Track Name: Late Bloomer
When I was a tiny seedlin', I wasted time blowin' in the wind. But now my roots are planted firmly, and there's sunshine in my grin. You know you can't deny me, as you watch me grow big and tall. Come on and wrap your leaves around me, and I guarantee you won't fall. 'Cause I'm a late bloomer, baby. Give me a chance and I'll grow all over you. Yeah, I'm a late bloomer, baby. Give me a chance and I'll grow all over you. It's never too late to blossom, my journey has just begun. So stick around me, baby, and we'll have lots and lots of fun. It feels so good to sprout up, life expands beneath my vines. Come on and smell my flowers, I've been givin' you all the signs... That I'm a late bloomer, baby. Give me a chance and I'll grow all over you. Yeah, I'm a late bloomer, baby. Give me a chance and I'll grow all over you.
Track Name: No More
Tear them down, these stained walls, these stained walls. Assume the worst, want to be let down, be let down. I can carry my weight no more, no more. Naked back with stretch marks fold, fold into... Fold in two and form a range, deep and wide. Cold feet and clammy hands are mine to keep. But the sun warms my limbs and keeps me less wild. I can carry my weight no more, no more. Demons awake no more when I wake. I can carry my weight no more, no more.
Track Name: Gone Away
You've gone now for another, you've left me high and dry. Off and strayed now with your lover, you left wild-eyed. You will pay now, you sinners, make it better time and time. Left with nothing, now beginners, it'll haunt you 'til you die. Brother's younger, so much better, he gives more than I. Doesn't mean I won't forget her, salvation's in the sky. Gone, gone away.