Why is it that every time I listen to The Raveonettes, I feel as though I just broke the law and am flying down a back road with a cigarette in my mouth constantly checking the rearview mirror? This is because this band's throwback sound demands that you transport your leather-clad body back to the bad–ass era of The Outsiders and light up an unfiltered Camel.

The Raveonettes new release Pretty in Black picks up where the band left off in 2003's Chain Gang of Love. Haunting melodies and simple drumming highlight the more country than rock and roll feel of this album. The opening track "The Heavens" gets the body swaying and creates the vibe for most of the album. Winning songs like the catchy "Love in a Trashcan" are perfect examples of the straightforward message of cool rock that defines The Raveonettes. "Somewhere in Texas," which checks in as the disc's longest song at 4:27, features twangy guitar and driving drums that keep you rolling across the sonic landscape. The one miss on the album is undoubtedly the poorly placed and obscenely awkward 50's hit "My Boyfriend's Back." While it was catchy and semi-cute when first released, this song proves to be more of a nod to the band's image than a tribute or a hidden gem.

The Raveonettes deliver with Pretty in Black and have cemented their place in the fast growing and ever more crowded market of niche indie rock bands. The rules they play by were written in 1956, but The Raveonettes have made them their own and taken a lot of classic sounds and made them fresh.

Andrew Warren
JamBase | San Francisco
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[Published on: 5/18/05]

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