Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Raveonettes-Raven In The Grave-Live & On Record

The Raveonettes are back with a new album and tour!

Raven In The Grave finds the duo of Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo unleashing 14 brand new songs on their eager audience.

In addition to this collection of music, which contains many outstanding tracks - they have embarked on a live show tour that is as stimulating and satisfying as their latest record.

Photo: Thomas King

Anyone who already knows the band and their music, is well aware that Sune Rose Wagner is the mastermind and creative writing force behind everything. In addition to his literary and musicial composition skills - he is an amazing guitarist.

Complementing Sune since the band's inception, is still the beautious Sharin Foo - who - after a lengthy stint as a second guitarist - is now found back on the bass guitar for this go round. Additionally, Sharin's voice remains the perfect harmonious foil for Mr. Wagner.

Photo: Thomas King

Catching their recent triumphant opening night return to New York- via an outstanding live show on Wednesday, April 20 was a treat, indeed.

In addition to Wagner and Foo, the rest of the live unit, circa 2011 consisted of two members who mostly played drums (a two drummer set-up) and occasionally backed up with supplemental guitar work.

Photo: Thomas King

With this latest release and tour, The Raveonettes once again re-established themselves as a progressive force on the pop and psych rock musical landscape.

Wagner's lyrics have always had a cinematic quality to them. Subject matter of romantic desolation have made an appearance more than a few times over the years. However, on this latest record, he's taken things to a new level - as can be found on the brilliant song "Apparitions"

"In the night we'd run around in the streets, jacked up on life and hell
Thunder love has struck us again, were apparations of a sinful spell
In the harsh reality of our lives, we saw tears and tragedy
we joined the pack of rebel angels at night, like apparations of an infantry"

The sonic accompaniment is brilliant in its (at times) stark simplicity. Of course, bubbling underneath is a tension - and the explosion you know is going to come. And come it does, throttling you with the force of a jet engine.

Dark waves engulf you in these (still) uncertain times.

Although Mr. Wagner's themes explore the darker side of the human psyche, there is still room for the wonder of new relationships, and the excitement that can give (if they are allowed to grow).

As is evidenced on another one of the albums outstanding tracks - "Ignite"

Where he sings: "What if I could free you? What if I could make you smile?
What if I could make your heart ignite for just a while?"

The overriding mood of "Raven" is one of acceptance. But not the kind of acceptance where you establish that you are "good." Far from it. In fact - our seeds are evil.

There's even a song by that title. Where the album title is embedded. "Like A Raven In The Grave - young lovers surely spring from these evil seeds."

"When Im sad - and our love is far behind - I long for all that time I spent with you."

Still - there is some room for playtime. "Play with fire - play with you sometimes."

Photo: Thomas King

Foo returns to bass. Voice very much intact.

Sune does wax somewhat optimistically on songs like "Recharge and Revolt." Where he definantly declares his rebirth and intentions to lead again.

The band played two songs for their encore.

The first - Sune's sentimental paean to youthful beauty - "Forget That You're Young" - with lead vocals by Sharin.

And then finally, the full on seizure enducing psych-out (for which I live for)

Photo: Thomas King

Aly - would you please walk with me?


Anonymous said...

Great review Dave, the Raveonettes are great!

DaveCromwell said...

You know it, Anouk! I mean - how many times have I written about then now? ;-)

Mr Smork said...

another nice piece. it's like 1000'th review about them, from dave. :) and it is one of the best.
easy to read and i quiet like the pictures.
and i like what i heard from video. sounds interesting.
raveonettes are best out of this kind of bands.

DaveCromwell said...

A least a thousand times, Mr. Smork!

The new album has some outstanding tracks on it. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to write about them as much as I have.

ViewFromSpookysDoghouse said...

Well, it's amazing how one can continue to write about the same band over and over again, and still manage to keep it sounding fresh each time. This is perhaps a testament to the lasting friendship between a rock journalist and his beloved band. Viva La Raveonettes!

DaveCromwell said...

Its actually very easy for me, VFSD. Quite simply because each go round - there is a collection of wonderful new songs. Some of which so eloquently reflect my own thoughts and desires. Combine that with a sound force that also connects with my soul - and the words flow rather effortlessly.

deadmandeadman said...

I really enjoyed reading this & listening to the tunage. I like the immediacy of your prose & your photos, you put me right in the middle of the action. I can almost smell the ozone & burnt dust on the amps. Jolly good, ole chap.

DaveCromwell said...

I like that you notice the "immediacy" Deadsy. It is sometimes a cause for concern for me that I haven't "polished" things enough - but I suppose that is a different kind of writing for a different arena (that I spend time in as well). The important thing is, that you connected with the music.

Anonymous said...

A fine band indeed Ravey Davey! This has wet my appetite for the new album. Nice shots too, cheers AVP

DaveCromwell said...

As I know you to be a big fan of this band (and someone who has covered their exploits for a number of years now as well) - I don't doubt you will discover the merits in this latest collection of songs, Andy.

Anonymous said...

Great review of a great band and a very good new album.

The last couple of albums were not as perfect as I wanted them to be, as I expected after listening to Whip It On and Chain Gang of Love. But, at last, the new music from Raveonettes is really ground breaking, powerful and there's this "something" in it.

I'm still not sure about the whole synth thing since the album could do just as well (or even better) without it but it's not something that is bothering me a lot.

I love nearly all of the new tracks (I could live without, I think, two or three of them)- there are great, beautiful melodies and stunning atmosphere all over the album. It's really a solid step in the band's career and I can only hope for them to play and record for years to come since they are, and will ever be, the greatest hope of the rock music of the XXIst century.


Anonymous said...

Looks like my english is playing tricks on me so here's where I made a mistake:

"The last couple of albums were not as perfect as I wanted them to be, as I expected after listening to Whip It On and Chain Gang of Love."

which should be:

The last couple of albums were not as perfect as I wanted them to be, not as great as I expected after listening to Whip It On and Chain Gang of Love (those two made my expectations grow to real heights).

Rave on, Sharin and Sune. There isn't a single band on today's music scene (rock and roll scene I mean since there are great bands in other genres) that can top you in any way. You are absolutely unique. Rock on!

DaveCromwell said...

I totally get your heart felt thoughts, eagle. I too feel that this latest album is a big step in their sound evolution. You mention great melodies, and that is one element the Raveonettes have never lacked. Combine that with the stark imagery of their lyrics, and it makes for a truly cinematic listening experience.

The Midnite Rambler said...

Good article Dave. Thanks!