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The Daily Tar Heel

Music Review: The Raveonettes

The Raveonettes has never faltered in sound and concept. The band is guilty of employing gimmicks like composing all of debut Whip It On in B-flat minor with only three chords, and sophomore effort Chain Gang of Love in B-major.

But throughout its career, The Raveonettes has remained a reverb-drenched, shoegazey affair, a sort of rock ‘n’ roll noir with doomed-love lyrics and a sinister sound. The most noticeable difference on Raven in the Grave is how newly world-weary and depressed members Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo sound.

That’s not to say the whole album is a drag. Opener “Recharge and Revolt” is an anthemic, fuzzed-out foot stomper with such a catchy garage-rock riff that by the time Wagner’s vocals kick in, you almost wish he wouldn’t.

And while The Raveonettes has a tendency to let its spot-on harmonies sink into cold, deadpan delivery, nowhere on the album do Wagner and Foo (and their guitars) sound more plaintive and heartbroken than on “Forget That You’re Young,” as the two recount a crumbling love affair.

Yet the rest of the album almost drones out into static under the heavy composition and subject matter. Foo and Wagner’s sense of humor is strongly absent, and without it to lighten up the record, Raven in The Grave is dragged into monotony.

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