inandoutofcontrolA cursory listen to In And Out Of Control, the new album from Danish but US based band the Raveonettes, may give the impression that the band is playing it safe and treading on familiar musical ground, but it’s in fact one of their strongest albums yet. Yes, their mix of droning, fuzzy guitars with 50’s and 60’s rock and pop is still in effect here, but it’s in the service of darker, sometimes harsher material, both lyrically and musically, as songs with titles like “Boys Who Rape (Should Be Destroyed)” and “Suicide” might indicate. “Break Up Girls!” starts with a shrillness that almost sounds like screaming, and the album in general has a more confrontational feel to it. Somehow they’ve managed to make it all sound energizing and dance floor ready for the most part, despite the overall dark tone. I wonder if this is an album some fans will feel put off by, but I liked it a lot, and definitely recommend giving it a chance. Standout cuts: “Bang!,” “Gone Forever,” “Last Dance” and “Break Up Girls!”

http://www.myspace.com/theraveonettes

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raveonettexmasWishing You A Rave Christmas, the last EP from the Raveonettes for 2008, is a holiday gift to their fans, who will be the ones to most appreciate this collection of four holiday themed songs. They successfully apply a Christmasy feel (i.e. sleigh bells and the like) to their fuzzy, distorted 50’s and 60’s inspired guitar rock, and come up with a set of music given to equal parts Christmas cheer, haunting holiday melancholy and a bit of eeriness all their own. Standout cuts: “Come On Santa” and “Christmas Ghosts.”

http://www.myspace.com/theraveonettes

“Come On Santa” MP3

raveonetteslustIf the new Raveonettes album, Lust Lust Lust, never quite hits the peaks that its first two brilliant tracks do, well, so what? Most albums don’t have a single song as cool as either the eerie, almost menacing “Aly, Walk With Me” or “Hallucinations,” with its beautifully distorted guitar riffs. It’s not that the rest of the album pales in comparison, either, as the Danish band, now based in Los Angeles and New York City, have returned with an inspired, powerful album that finds them playing their now familiar mix of distorted, fuzzy guitar sounds and 50’s and 60’s rock with a renewed energy, infusing and complicating even the album’s poppiest moments with a strange, almost delirious obsessiveness, true to the album’s title. Other standout cuts: “Dead Sound” and “You Want The Candy,” but there are no duds to be found here.

http://www.myspace.com/theraveonettes