The Raveonettes | 03.18.08

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 While their music draws heavily from influences of many generations ago, their sound is extremely refreshing, especially given the boring, uninspired state of mainstream music and the growing homogenization of "indie" rock.  

 

 

  

The Double Door, Chicago

The Danish duo of Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo, known collectively as The Raveonettes, hit Chicago in their 60's surf rock, fuzzed out, psychedelic style on a Tuesday night. For those who have been sleeping, The Raveonettes blend reverb-heavy pop songs with the fuzzy guitar stylings often compared to those of The Jesus and Mary Chain (and for good reason). Their songs rely heavily on drum sequences, although they have brought a standing drummer, Leah Shapiro, on tour with them who plays just a single tom, a snare and a hi-hat while also running the band's sequences.

Touring in support of their new album, Lust Lust Lust, they played a diverse set covering material from all phases of their growing catalog. Obvious fan favorites appeared such as the melodic-yet-noisy "Attack of the Ghost Riders," from their debut, Whip it On. Their performance of "Here Comes Mary" off of Pretty in Black exemplified the way Wagner and Foo's voices often blend, creating dreamy two-part harmonies. It seems that everything The Raveonettes do is saturated in reverb, including the vocals.

Playing to a full house, the audience seemed equally enthusiastic to hear tracks from all of their records. The new tracks they played featured heavy doses of feedback such as, "You Want the Candy" and "Hallucinations." The Raveonettes certainly have a signature sound, but they manage to write diverse songs within that formula. While their music draws heavily from influences of many generations ago, their sound is extremely refreshing, especially given the boring, uninspired state of mainstream music and the growing homogenization of "indie" rock.

Some things about The Raveonettes sound can't sufficiently be put into words, you just have to hear it for yourself, which I highly recommend doing. Much of their material is pleasingly minimalist, relying on the droning of a single chord or a repetitive bass line that lulls you into a subconscious groove. But before you can begin to get bored, they always chime in with a vibrato-laden guitar solo or they kick on the guitar fuzz for a more intense effect. Whatever it is that they do, they do it extremely well.

Overall, attending a Raveonettes show feels like traveling back in time to some peculiar yet familiar period that you can't quite put your finger on. Seeing them is a fun and engaging experience, full of catchy melodies and driving beats. At times you catch yourself wondering if there may be a guest appearance by Buddy Holly or Lou Reed but it never seems to happen. There is a certain playfulness to the band, but similarly you can tell that they are serious about what they do-and what they do is make compelling music. | Christopher Sewell

 

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