SEPTEMBER 11, 2003
RED Reviews

By Jamie Gadette and Autumn Thatcher


Chain Gang of Love
The Raveonettes
Columbia Records

The Raveonettes’ debut effort, Whip It On, was a rather tedious exercise in post-modern complaining. Weary of their homeland’s uninspired music, Danish duo Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo aimed to liberate rock and roll by enforcing boundaries. Working off of a stringent formula (songs in B flat minor with three chords, shorter than three minutes), the innovators created a sound bursting with fuzz—and potential. Unfortunately, the album was too obvious, toting a pleasing theme that eventually turned cloying. It’s not that the songs were completely terrible, only void of an element that would aid in a more universal appeal.

On Chain Gang of Love, The Raveonettes have apparently located the missing link. Characteristically brief exercises in self-restraint are bolstered by an expanded musical repertoire. Varied tempos (as opposed to consistently medium-paced tunes that quickly tire the ear), unusual sound effects and improved harmonies help endow songs with lasting appeal. Also present are the fingerprints of multiple influences.

Opening track “Remember” summons the Byrds with a jingle-jangle guitar while “Noisy Summer” harkens back to The Dixie Cups, whose hit “Chapel of Love” included the signature hand clapping and thunderous wall of sound distinguished by so many other girl groups.

It is in fact that particular genre from which The Raveonettes draws its name. The “ette” suffix connoted with wildly successful Motown family members (and their derivatives) is a perfect fit for Wagner and Foo’s rigid intentions. Doo-wop groups of the ’50s and ’60s also based their success on a formula—albeit one more obsessed with external image and stage presence than with musical notation.
Other songs skim the surface of surf music, riding the sonic waves on tambourines and drum machines fueled by distortion.

Whip It On didn’t travel from point A to point B so much as it simply lingered at an exasperating standstill. However, with Chain Gang of Love, it seems as if The Raveonettes might actually be going somewhere.


Eve 6
It’s All In Your Head
RCA Records

The trio of young adults that comprises Eve 6 has revealed to its fans that the guys are growing up—and it hasn’t been easy. It’s All In Your Head is the third album released by the band. Lead vocalist and bassist Max Collins is the thoughtful creator behind the lyrics of every song on the album.

The new CD clearly proves that Collins and his bandmates have matured. The lyrics are deeper and contain more pain than fans may be used to.

The album is tightly knit with emotions that painfully reveal experiences that Collins has lived. “Friend of Mine” is a personal song that tells the story of a loved one flirting with suicide. The lyrics beg, “Friend of mine/ Stay alive/ Don’t you leave me here/ All alone in the world/ With a chronic tear,” while other songs such as “Without You Here” project feelings of a broken heart and lost love. The album coherently sounds with strong instrumentation and a force that emanates from Collins’ mouth. Though it may be considered more profound than the early albums, It’s All In Your Head allows Eve 6 to mature and still maintain the youthful experiences that serve as a foundation for the band’s fan-base.

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