Album Reviews

The Raveonettes – Chain Gang Of Love

(Columbia) UK release date: 25 August 2003


The Raveonettes - Chain Gang Of LoveWriter’s block can be cumbersome. The signs are there, flashing like a giant neon motel sign in the middle of the night on a barren mid-western desert plane. We all suffer it, even beat legend Jack Kerouac. But when he put pen to paper about life on the road did he realise the effect it would have on generations to come? Well the critics certainly welcomed it at the time.

Thirty years on from the golden summer of love which capped Kerouac’s life, another soul trailblazed on the road in trashy motels, inspiring him to meld his experiences with a love of Buddy Holly and the jarring whitewash of the Jesus and Mary Chain. That soul was Sune Rose Wagner, who found his equal opposite in a quarter Chinese, six-foot blonde, Sharin Foo.

The Raveonettes’ Chain Gang of Love isn’t the sound of a miserable, depraved, violent Kerouac outfit – indeed it is an ode to beat, bop, and hip swinging sprit of the pre-Nixon golden era which the Danish duo champion.

Zipping by quicker than Dean Moriarty in a stolen Cadillac, Chain Gang is a delightful slew of pop-doo-wop-beat-brazen-summer-rock. The track listing almost reads like a beat excerpt (try it if you know the lingo).

Transcribing like a good acid trip from the fifties to the eighties, where the slow, twinkled swinging Remember melts into the infectious fuzz of That Great Love Sound. Where the shoop-shorop of Noisy Summer melanges with the drizzling feedback of the likes of JAMC and Sonic Youth.

The Wagner/Foo vocal harmony peaks at the gorgeous heights of the very Jefferson Airplane (with distortion of course) sounding Love Can Destroy Everything. Before you can hit rewind, Heartbreak Stroll plunders into sumptuous sultry swing – blokes can have multiple orgasms! But only in your ears. If the Raveonettes are the sound of the summer, this should be the song of the summer.

The White Stripes? BRMC? Forget the comparisons. Had it been released two months ago it would have nonchalantly kicked The Thrills to the side of the road as the official sound of the summer. Don’t expect a cheeky re-release to capitalise next summer, this is now.

By the time we reach the Chain Gang we don’t wanna run. Hell, no. We wanna grab them, get some girls, dance and neck all night before setting back on, on the road.


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