Freed from the imprisonment of a major label deal, the Raveonettes show us an altogether darker side to their music. There is still the touch of early Blondie there - as you would expect when their manager is Richard Gottehrer - to keep things commercial but their European influences are much more obvious than before.
What to make of it all? Obtuse lyrically, you are never quite sure what the words are supposed to mean. The opening track of the album "Aly, Walk with me" is a good example. Is it a simple love song or an allegory to drug induced paranoia? The jury is out on that one. In sonic terms, the reverb has been turned up the max giving a late sixties Wall of Sound feel that is counterpointed with jagged, anguished guitar playing that reminded the Bluesbunny of Martin Metcalfe (of Goodbye Mr Mackenzie and Isa & the Filthy Tongues). "Dead Sound" could almost be a Eurodisco song if it were not for those angry, discordant guitars. "Blush", well, that song put images of silent German expressionist movies into our head. Not that the lyrics had anything to do with movies but somehow that image was invoked. The ghost of the Surfaris gets exorcised in the twisted, proto punk "Blitzed" whilst "Expelled from Love" crashes out of the speakers and thuds rounds the room like a bear with a monster hangover. "My Heartbeat's Dying" and You Want the Candy" are like the flipsides of the same dirty coin that was probably found in the basement of some gothic castle. With songs like these, there is certainly a lot more asked of the listener than is usual for albums these days. Having musical tastes that are outside of the mainstream like the Bluesbunny means that we enjoyed this album but it may be too much effort for the casual listener.
Post punk melodrama meets up with European electro disco on the way to worship the two gods, Phil Spector and Shadow Morton. It took more than a few plays before the Bluesbunny determined that this album was not a pastiche but homage to their musical influences. After that we could not get it off the turntable. It isn't exactly sunny afternoon music but it is certainly quality. Like most of the good things in life, you have to put in a bit of effort to get the best from this album and we therefore recommend that you make that effort.