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The Raveonettes, ‘Lust Lust Lust’ (Vice)

Mikael Wood // March 20, 2008

This style-fixated pair first appeared several years ago with a heat-seeking update of the Jesus and Mary Chain’s fuzz-soaked ’60s-pop thing. But unlike the Reid brothers, singer/guitarist Sune Rose Wagner and singer/bassist Sharin Foo looked like people who’d rather be having sex in an alley than poring over Brian Wilson’s old studio logs by candlelight. So it was disappointing that on 2005’s Pretty in Black, the Raveonettes drained most of the scuzz from their sound, making a run for respectability when it was precisely their junk-culture irreverence that made them worth hearing in the first place.

As its title suggests, Lust Lust Lust returns the group to the gutter from whence they sprang. Recorded on what might as well have been two-for-one rolls of masking tape, the album bleeds distortion from every possible surface-and not the high-end Steve Albini stuff, either. On “Hallucinations” and “Sad Transmission,” it’s unclear whether the two are playing guitars or vacuum cleaners. Rhythms come in the form of dollar-store drum-machine beats, while the harmony vocals prize attitude over intelligibility. (No biggie, considering their unfortunate weakness for tired candy-shop metaphors.) Yet ultimately, all this willful messiness adds up to a funny and surprisingly touching mission statement, a dirty-sweet testament to rock’n’roll’s enduring ability to reflect desire in all its forms.

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Now Watch This: “Dead Sound” video