May 19, 2005
The Raveonettes are always treading the line between Pop and noise. The line between the '50's doo-wop sound and Sonic Youth. If you remember The Ronettes' "Be My Baby," you know that's not such a bad fence to be on.
Thankfully, The Raveonettes add something to the approach of their predecessors--namely sensual bad intentions. Where The Ronettes were innocent and Sonic Youth fought with the kid gloves of suburban anger, the rock band from Copenhagen sounds sinister and dangerous. The nutshell of their lyrics is filled with sex, suicide, and prostitution.
During "Sleepwalking," a song off their new album, Raveonettes bassist/vocalist Sharin Foo and guitarist/vocalist Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo (bass, vocals) sang in a nihilistic and zombie-fied tone. The bass had a dance pulse, which was evident in most of their songs, whether it was in the kick drum, jump beat snare, or guitar. It's funny the song was called "Sleepwalking" because that's what it seemed the band was doing at Twiropa Thursday night. They were tight, and their set was enjoyable, but the duo at the front lacked passion and energy. For the kind of fuzzed-out rock they were playing, a little booty-shaking would have served the live show well.
The problem might have had something to do with the huge room they were playing in. The lack of intimacy hurt the band's blend of tremolo, surf, and rockabilly. I hear Twiropa is gonna put a black curtain up in the middle of the big room to make it seem smaller. Good idea.
At least the lead guitarist, who was the noise point man throughout the night, was animated. On old song "Beat City," the duo sang the following over a fuzzed-out punk attack: "Wanna hang with girls and shoot my gun/Wanna drink and drive have some fun." The lead guitarist had a nice feedback freak-out at the end of this song.
While we were talking about vocals, The Raveonettes had Ronnie Spector's "ooh's" and "aaah's" programmed into "Ode to L.A."