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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
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+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
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44.1 kHz Archive

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The Raveonettes
Pretty In Black

Wow. I had no idea. The Raveonettes are actually really good. Pretty in Black, their third album, is my first introduction to the Danish duo and, so far, it's done nothing short of killing whatever it was I used to expect from them. The Raveonettes first garnered attention in the wake of the garage-rock twosome trend, so I, being the snob I can, at times, be, wrote them off like an unwanted Johnny-come-lately stepchild. But then Pretty in Black fell into my lap and, as I sit here listening to it, I smile, because there's nothing I love more than watching know-it-all assumptions make an ass out of you andů well, you know.

I also had no idea The Raveonettes were so heavily influenced by '50s rock 'n' roll and rockabilly. And, unlike a lot of the punk rockabilly sect, it's actually refreshing. The pair toy with excellent Chuck Berry-inspired guitar tones and solos, moody surf meandering and classic '50s film-worthy heartbreak moments. They even dish out an ultra-sexy cover of the girl-group hit "My Boyfriend's Back," first made famous by The Angels in 1963. Their reverb-drenched nostalgia trip is full of enough talent and original thought, though, that the result is respectable and classy, not boorish and (yawn) retro.

Featuring contributions from the Velvet Underground's Mo Tucker, Suicide's Martin Rev and Ronnie Spector, the album — though mostly influenced by sassy '50s and '60s pop/rock — also incorporates the edgier, space-out side of bands like Sonic Youth and the Jesus & Mary Chain. Vocal duties are shared between guitarist Sune Rose Wagner and bassist Sharin Foo, giving the album a feel that's at once feminine and masculine, and adding a personable, often heated, duet exchange.

Driven by a pulsating heartbeat beat, dreamy riff and occasional shimmery tambourine jangle, "Seductress of Bums" is as sweet and innocent as a Buddy Holly ballad, while "Love in a Trashcan" explores the seedier side of old-time rock 'n' roll with its wailing, unstoppable Berry-style riff and a hot-and-heavy rhythm section. Both "The Heavens" and "Somewhere in Texas" feel like sunset-soaked trips through the desert for their raw, Country/Western acoustic guitar-picking, ghostly vocals, sluggish tempos, and drumming so large it overwhelms the room.

A more careful look at the album's cover shows the way the letters spelling out "Raveonettes" evoke the title design used for a lot of those '50s King Kong or horror flicks, the way their dress is all mod and vintage — and the name, the name alone: Rave On!

I should've known. But, hey, I just love the unexpected.

by Jenny Tatone

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