The Raveonettes is a Danish duo, debuting with their EP Whip It On in 2002 and taking Scandinavia by storm the following year with their full debut album Chain Gang Of Love and the single “That Great Love Sound”. Catchy acoustic retro fifties music with a lot of distortion – what’s not to love? In my opinion, a great little album, and the distortion is pulled off well, giving the songs an angry edge – as opposed to the recent album simply entitled Distorion by The Magnetic Fields, where the effect just ends up drowning the music without adding much of anything at all.
After their debut, The Raveonettes fell off my radar; I didn’t hear much about them through the mainstream music press, and figured them for a one-hit wonder. I eventually found out they’d made a follow-up album in 2005, two years after their debut album, and was keen to sample it. Unfortunately a disappointing and lifeless affair. More polished and a lot more dull than their first album, with awful sounding mood-killing monotonous drums present on more than a few songs. In 2007 they released their third album, of which I’ve only sampled a few songs. It seems better than their previous one, but it’s still plagued by the same problems, if to a lesser extent.
This year they’ve released a series of digital EPs, and the fourth (and I believe final) one is all about Christmas, entitled Wishing You A Rave Christmas. Rave? As in, wild and enthusiastic, and perhaps just a little bit insane? Or is the title referring to certain types of dance parties or the music played at such parties, known as raves and rave music? Both could be a possibility. The Raveonettes aren’t known for dabbling with electronic music, but the first track of this EP, which is this week’s pick, may be the closest they’ve come to rave music.
This is a cover of a classic song penned by legendary producer and songwriter Phil Spector from his popular Christmas album A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector. You can hear the original version here. I rather like the cover version. It pretty much stands and falls on its heavy synths, though everything in between is executed decently. The vocals could’ve been a bit louder, instead of the a whisper with heavy reverb sound they’ve got going here, and there could have been some variation on the synthline. I’m hoping they’ll be using more synths in the future, though it’s doubtful they’ll suddenly become an electronica band like Hefner and Animal Collective did. We’ll see what the future brings.
Oh, and I just realized that the title Wishing You A Rave Christmas is most likely a play on their band name, The Raveonettes. I guess that makes sense.