Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Review: "Lust Lust Lust" ...zzz... zzz... zzzzz

The new album cover by The Raveonettes is in 3D!
Right Eye Red.

Yeah. I'm listening to the new Raveonettes album, "Lust Lust Lust".

I was a fan of The Raveonettes way back when "Whip It On" was released. I saw it in a Best Buy and the damn thing tackled me and made me buy it. It took a couple of listens, but I found the fuzz distorted mess to be very exciting. I was pumped for a proper full length album release. When their second album, "Chain Gang Of Love" was released, my prayers were answered. There was a key change from the last album and a more sunny, upbeat sound. It was about as dreg rock as two people could get in a studio. I proclaimed it a brilliant album immediately and I even got my friends to agree, in a rare moment. They came to Pittsburgh multiple times and blew us all away several times. I'm happy to say that one of those times, I was turned on to their opening act, "The Rogers Sisters"; a great kick ass power trio if I ever heard one!

Things changed with the release of their 3rd album, "Pretty In Black", and not for the better. Save for "Love In A Trash Can", the whole affair was pretty uninspired and dull. The fuzz was gone and, like a fog lifted, the band was revealed to be pretty standard and ordinary, just like every other retro worship act.

Cut to the present. As I stated earlier, I got the new album, "Lust Lust Lust". It's been released in the UK and Europe (on vinyl with a 3D cover!) and it's not expected to drop here until March of 2008. That's a big, big mistake in this digital age. Everyone who's wanted to hear this album will have either downloaded it illegally or have bought it as an import by then. Anyhow, on to my impressions of the new slab. Well, first up, the fuzz is back, like a blanket of soot drenched snow all over the production. That helps immensely, but unfortunately, while it's a return to the sound of the first two offerings, it's not a complete return. The album is top heavy with the kind of stuff that plagued "Pretty In Black"; that is, slow, dreamy, weepy sounds that will surely put you to sleep. I almost nodded off by the second track. Then the reverb guitar and bass/snare combo kicks into high gear and I feel like I've walked into a Robert Rodriguez movie. I love surf sounds, but they have a way of making that sound into something of a downer. Emo surf? Not down with it (yeah, I realise that's what "Whip It On" was all about. Sue me).

By track 4, "Dead Sound", they begin to make a full return to the "Chain Gang Of Love" type sound and it's fully welcome. The bad thing is, now I have to treat them like an unfaithful girlfriend. Things seem like they're going back to normal, but under the surface, I just can't trust them for their past indiscretions against me. Still, I soldier on, y'know, for the sake of the children.

Tracks 5 through 9 are very good listening. That section includes their first single, "Blush". It's the sound that made me love them so much back then. Family reunion time. It feels good.

The album winds down then with two ballad-y type ditties. It's not the type of sound I would've concluded with, but it's okay, I guess.

I think the problem, for me, anyway, is "Pretty In Black" disappointed me so much. I mean, I spent two weeks of hard listening to force myself to like it more than I did (which was little) and I couldn't do it. It was such a let down and then it took SOOOOOOOOO long for a followup that I just wrote them off. This album does little to patch up my opinion on their music. I can't, with good conscience, recommend this album. I can recommend the middle part, but unfortunately, you can't go out and just buy the middle part. That is unless they release their stuff on iTunes. In that eventuality, I recommend you buy tracks 5 through 9.

Leave the rest for the retro clothes wearing, drug and/or alcohol imbibing, Jack-Kerouac-tattooed-on-the-forearm decorated set. They'll love that other stuff.

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