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CD Reviews: The Raveonettes
The Raveonettes: Chain Gang of Love
November 2003
By: Blair Bryant
album cover of The Raveonettes Chain Gang of Love

They're back. . . and this time they're making sure everyone will now know who they are. Returning rather suddenly with their second release Chain Gang of Love, it is safe to say Danish rockers The Raveonettes have rounded out their sound. For those who are unfamiliar with the garage duo, now is a good time to start listening. And for those who have been Raveonette fans since their debut Whip It On will be very much satisfied.

Comprised of Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo, this garage duo has a defined style of their own, although strikingly similar to that of The Jesus and Mary Chain. Wagner and Foo turn things up a notch with a newly polished sound in which they had yet to fully develop on their debut. Not only have The Raveonettes found their niche musically, they've also established themselves well enough to stand out as artists. Tackling the recording process at a different angle this time around, Chain Gang of Love was recorded in B Major, as compared to the B Minor sound of Whip It On, Chain Gang sticks to a theme of love but covers different aspects of it, such as the romantic, erotic, and deceptive aspects of love. That Great Love Sound is the very catchy and upbeat first single from their sophomore effort, which showcases how much they have evolved as artists. Unlike Whip It On, the vocals are much clearer and the drowning out of them by heavy guitar playing is few and far between. Love Can Destroy Everything tells of the pitfalls of love, although ironically giving one the feel of a 1950's nostalgic back-seat make-out session. Both Little Animal and Untamed Girls reverses stereotypes of the aggressive guy/shy girl by their lyrics and even the titles alone. The title track, Chain Gang of Love, rounds out not only the album theme itself, but refined sound of The Raveonettes in general--- but this time, it's mellow. The Truth About Johnny, another laid-back track, gives more of a 1950's doo-wop vibe which showcases both the smoky vocals and bass and guitar skills of Foo and Wagner respectively.

In a nutshell, The Raveonettes definitely have created something that they should be proud to call their own. Their 1960's B-movie sound, infused with the sexual whip-appeal style of garage music, is definitely what makes this dynamic duo stand out. Arriving into the music scene with the likes of the White Stripes, Interpol, and Hot Hot Heat, The Raveonettes are definitely a force to be reckoned with in which their sound is bound to be enjoyed for months, and even years, on end.