These four blokes are self-aware in the way of nearly 40-year-old beer-bellied men dripping sweat onto their hard-hit skins and nimbly fingered frets -- the kind of band with which blue-collar America could really connect. The Rakes' cockney disco-beat post-punk certainly raises the irony bar. Alan Donohoe sings about pissing off, being pissed, getting piss-drunk, having one pisser of a hangover, and somehow making it to his piss-ant job; sometimes the songs' motifs become as stale as, uh-huh, you guessed it.
Despite the ennui expressed in the lyrics, the songs are upbeat. For a moment, they make a "22-Grand Job" sound like the high life, while "Work, Work, Work (Pub Club Sleep)" is full of punchy rebellion, equating cubicle monotony with tedious socialite schedules, the vicious cycle to which the album title alludes. While their proletarian pop-punk offers little by way of innovation, what they do, they do well.