Raveonettes – That Great Love Sound

Raveonettes
That Great Love Sound

While what I have heard from their first album, Whip it On sounds boringly uniform – and despite their often painfully trite lyrics (and equally chintzy name) – the Denmark-based Raveonettes have written a very catchy garage-pop tune, “That Great Love Sound.” The breezy simplicity of their previous recordings was a major fault, rendering their songs into disposable fluff. However, the straight-forward nature of “That Great Love Sound” becomes the quality of economy. There is nothing superfluous about this well-honed tuneful pop song.

The vocals, one male-one female are sung in close-harmony and delivered with sexy withdrawal; and when married with the wall of blues-based guitar sounds, insistent pounding drums, and tambourines, it brings to mind a sweeter Jesus and Mary Chain, a ditzy Spacemen 3, or an infantile Yo La Tengo. Their flattened effect and subdued vocal harmonies work as a great contrast against the overdriven pop, which churns even though the instrumental component is not funky, nor soulful. The exacting buildup from verse to chorus, with each line sung a little louder and precisely on a climbing chord change is a basic technique put to captivating use. The song is very carefully assembled, with each element lovingly lifted from their influences. This whole “Nu-Garage” thing that the band is trying to identify themselves with seems to dress up the drug-addled New York new wave, put a faux-rough edge on 60s bubblegum girl groups, and mix it all together in a warm, presentable, mildly kitsch-y package. With their melodious and delightfully vapid appeal, the Raveonettes are definitely meant to be a consumable product. Kudos to Richard Gottehrer (Sire Records co-founder and Blondie producer) for a great job bringing to the forefront the key sonic elements of this exciting single. Lacking the attitude or pretense of “alternative” bands (a nauseating marketing scam), the revivalism of the Raveonettes, even more so than their “cousins – The Strokes and White Stripes,” is really just a celebration of danceable pop music. Viewed in this light, it has a back-to-basics traditionalist stance which is a welcome rejoinder to the over-produced electronic complexities of most American top-40.

With practiced ease/cool, great production, and fashionable sex appeal, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Raveonettes are able to ride a subsequent single onto the UK-charts just as soon as NME can hook their backpage promotional talons into them.