Raveonettes Whip It On in NYC - Rolling Stone
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Raveonettes Whip It On in NYC

Denmark band offer the best new garage rock

There is only one thing better than falling head over heels for a
new band at first sight — and that’s going back for more and
knowing you were right the first time. So I can tell you with
complete confidence: the Raveonettes are not only Denmark’s hot
gift to the New Garage. They make tight blazing pop of the top
order, the kind that can quickly become a personal passion — and a
radio phenomenon.

When I saw the Raveonettes in May at Spot, a two-day music
conference and festival in the Danish city of Aarhus, I didn’t know
a thing about the band’s history — singer-guitarist Sune
RoseWagner had been in the punky Danish combo, Psyched Up Janis —
or its recordings: one EP, Whip It On, out that week.
Everyone else there did. The Raveonettes played to a full, beaming,
bouncing auditorium of fans, gunning through a near-hour of golden
fuzz. There was precedent aplenty flying through the air: Dick Dale
twang, Sixties girl group pop, Velvet Underground noise. But the
Raveonettes played it all at once, honed to a Nuggets-like
finish, packed inside two-minute marvels such as “Attack of the
Ghost Riders,” “My Tornado” and “Beat City.”

Wagner, singer-bassist Sharin Foo, guitarist Manoj Ramdas and
drummer Jakob Hoyer made their American debut tonight in humbler
circumstances: an early-evening, thirty-minute CBGB showcase for
complete strangers (except for a small pack of happy Danes up
front). And they still killed. The Raveonettes also showed what’s
missing from current garage: vocal candy. The Hives, the Strokes,
the White Stripes: they’re all howl, yelp and stomp. But Wagner and
Foo sing together in a compressed, modal boy-girl blend that,
against hurricane feedback and booming trebled bass guitar, sounds
like the Jesus and Mary Chain with Blondie’s Deborah Harry at the
mike. Or the Ramones fronted by a Gregorian Shangri-Las.

At CBGB, the Raveonettes introduced three new songs they had
just finished recording — the night before — with producer
Richard Gottherer, who midwifed Blondie’s first two albums. “Rave
On” was a fast funky avalanche of joy; “Chain Gang of Love” could
have been written uptown at the Brill Building thirty years ago;
“That Great Love Sound” was three minutes of racing menace and
sugar. The show was also a ferocious advertisement for Whip It
On
, a record actually made by Wagner and Foo with drum
machines but no less fun for it. Played at full-quartet strength,
the medicine-dance throb of “Veronica Fever” and the dirty-sweet
drive of “Attack of the Ghost Riders” packed a tonal color missing
from the Hives’ monochrome thrust and the White Stripes’ stark
art-blues.

The Raveonettes went back to Denmark after this show; it may be
awhile before they’re back and those new songs come out. But
Whip It On, released by the Danish label Crunchy Frog, is
available online. Get it now, and join the buzz. You can thank me
later.

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