The Raveonettes – Raven in the Grave

written by: April 29, 2011
The Raveonettes - Raven in the Grave album cover Release Date: April 5, 2011


With four studio albums already under their belt, The Raveonettes have tackled their fifth installment in stride and with great returns. Raven in the Grave manages to meander through the mind in a whimsical way, mating extraterrestrial instrumentals with straightforward lyrics. They produce something less than industrial on their latest record and harness a more synthetic sound that grapples with the soul and adds a new wave appeal to the darker side of their music.

Things get better with age and The Raveonettes are still working to top the charts. Raven includes a more polished sound; different than their Whip it On EP produced nine years ago. Their simple line-up helps them create that practiced sound. Their last record In and Out of Control ranked fifth in their Danish homeland but didn’t chart in the United States. With all their chemistry and a run from other popular indie acts, there is still hope for these Danes yet. Consisting of Sune Rose Wagner on guitar, instruments and vocals, and Sharin Foo on bass, guitar and vocals, little room is left for error in the group.

Album opener “Recharge & Revolt” has the most upbeat tempo of all the songs on the album. It sets the ears up for an astrological journey through the cosmos with ponderous, echoed lyrics and beats drawing from within. “Ignite” is another upbeat tune and harnesses echo and bass together to make a solid concoction for an excellent track on a road trip playlist.

“Let Me On Out” has an eerily similar guitar riff as verses from the Dead Kennedys’ “Chicken Shit Conformist.” Here, The Raveonettes take it to a different, Dane-pop duo level and casts a shadow with seriously dark lyrics such as: “I feel that you have died/Let me on out let me on loose let me find someone new.” Its simple lyrics and slowed beat allow for an altogether sad song looking at a failed relationship.

“My Time’s Up” is a slow and painful look at being at the end of one’s journey. Its rocket ship launch of guitar and keyboard bring up the pace, but still casts a shadow on the soul as it explores those final minutes.

For those who were teenagers in the early and mid-90s, it’s easy to hear the Pixies and The Cranberries in a lot of the tracks from this album. Simplicity is the key and perfection allows for a refined and marketable record.

The Raveonettes have a lofty discography and are a slightly underrated act in the U.S., but that doesn’t stop them from making excellent music. All things considered, the best atmosphere for an album of this caliber is amidst a rainy 40 degree day with no hope of sunshine in sight. Throwing in cabin fever is a must, as well as some low lighting and picture-less walls get the full effect. Given the feel of the music on Raven in the Grave, no other alternatives should be accepted.

The Raveonettes – Raven in the Grave Tracklist:

  1. “Recharge & Revolt”
  2. “War In Heaven”
  3. “Forget That You’re Young”
  4. “Apparitions”
  5. “Summer Moon”
  6. “Let Me On Out”
  7. “Ignite”
  8. “Evil Seeds”
  9. “My Time’s Up”