If Jesus & Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine consummated and gave birth to a two-headed garage-rock baby, that baby would be dubbed the Raveonettes. Although this Danish duo doesn’t follow a strict dress code (nor do they claim to be lovers, ex-lovers, or siblings) like a certain other candy-striped pair, the Raveonettes adhere to precise musical rules – their debut EP Whip It On is written entirely in B flat minor.
Though guitarist Sune Rose Wagner pens all the songs, both he and bassist Sharin Foo share vocal responsibilities. In fact, the two combine their powers to form an eerie, melodic droning that resonates over dark, crunchy guitars while combining danceable punk rhythms with rockabilly fervor.
So what becomes of this austere musical palette the duo chooses to adhere to when writing songs? I wish I could say something unique about each of the eight tracks on this EP, but essentially, following the Jesus & Mary Chain tradition, the songs are barely distinguishable. Slight tempo changes and the use of only three chords (another strict rule of the twosome) make it difficult to discern one fuzz-drenched tune from another.
But don’t let the sameness deter you; if similar sounds were disparaged, then the garage-rock scene wouldn’t still be thriving the way it is now. So don’t worry, the Raveonettes will continue to rave on with the addition of two members, guitarist Manoj Ramdas and drummer Jakob Hoyer. Their first full-length album (perhaps written in B flat major?) will be produced by Richard Gottehrer of Blondie fame, and is slated for release on Columbia Records.
So does being a Scandinavian garage-rock band with “the” in your name guarantee that you’ll be the next big thing? Just look around at all the industry hype and the current musical climate for the answer to that. Yes. Yes, it does.