The Raveonettes, Raven In The Grave

Michaelangelo Matos

By Michaelangelo Matos

on 04.05.11 in Reviews

Raven In The Grave

The Raveonettes
Not simply peddling junkie chic

Adjusting to fashion isn't what the Raveonettes do, and not just because dressing in basic black, and making music to match, is always stylish somewhere. No, Danish leather-jacket lifers Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo are about the accessories. Raven in the Grave is the fifth Raveonettes album, which means it's the fifth straight refinement of the duo's Jesus and Mary Chain-derived signature. Guitar picks squelch as they slide off of lower E strings, refracted through a mess of pedals to create lantern-lit doorways (not quite walls) of sound. Chords from a Roland String Ensemble rise through murky six-strings like sunlight through cobwebbed windows. Lines such as "What if I could make my heart explode?" (from "Ignite," just like that Roland line) or "And I chase you/ And I know that you're so young/ And I catch you/ And I forget that you're young" ("Forget That You're Young") signpost a sensibility that thrives in small rooms blanketed floor to ceiling with black-and-white images of skinny, hollow-eyed beauties from oversized European slicks. Not every tune is memorable — this band goes for languid more often than not, so the effect (and affect) is atmospheric rather than hooky. But they're not simply peddling junkie chic — Wagner and Foo like what they do too much to simply throw it away, in any sense.