[sic] Magazine

The Raveonettes – Raven In The Grave

When Danish duo The Raveonettes are good they are very, very good. But when they’re bad … they’re still pretty good too, and Raven In The Grave , the band’s fifth LP in their decade-long career to date, falls somewhere in the middle of these wide generalisations.

Proving the opening line of this review, and soon therefore to join the illustrious ranks of “Attack Of The Ghostriders”, “That Great Love Sound” and “Aly, Walk With Me”, is Raven In The Grave ‘s strong opener “Recharge & Revolt”. Its pounding drum, protesting guitar and indistinct vocal are all achingly familiar, but far from unwelcome it must be said. Together, these elements combine into the sort of hypnotic and pop-tinged shoegaze gold that many lesser collectives go a whole lifetime without troubling.

Striking a balance, for each of these belters, to which you can add the shimmering beauty of “Forget That You’re Young”, there are lesser echoes, but as Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo are yet to deviate far from their impeccably chosen palette of The Everly Brothers , The Jesus And Mary Chain , Phil Spector and The Velvet Underground , naturally these echoes are acceptable even at their least impacting.

Nevertheless, in such company as the echo-y, identifiably Nordic, tongue-in-cheek rocker “Ignite”, “Let Me On Out” and “My Time’s Up” seem a little limp. In turn, the pretty “Summer Moon” is ultimately too intangible to be memorable. Yet, for better or worse, all that Wagner and Foo produce sounds like no-one else but themselves – a nifty trick that they have always maintained throughout their catalogue, drifting in and out of dark pop and 80s indie/alt structures as they go.

Comprising the remainder of Raven In The Grave ‘s nine tracks, “Apparitions” and “War In Heaven” give a good account of themselves with gloom-era Cure -gazing – something “Evil Seeds” does too, only more minimally, crunching along, shoulders hunched as if walking in fresh snow.

Those looking for new direction or some kind of revelation from The Raveonettes need not apply here. Raven In The Grave won’t earn (m)any new fans as a result, but it’s reassuring to have some constants in this world and for the time being there are few more definite.

Advised downloads: “Recharge & Revolt” and “Ignite”.

~Raven In The Grave is out now on Vice .~

The Raveonettes @ myspace

The Raveonettes webpage