Do the Danes do irony? Bacon, we know. But irony? It’s worth knowing only because of that title. In And Out Of Control. Normally, it wouldn’t grate particularly, but this is an album so far from being out of control that you just have to ask.
There is no lack of control here, just precision. Endless precision. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing. No, let’s be clear, there are lots of occasions when precision is very much a good thing. Driving a JCB. Steering a supertanker through the Suez Canal. Brain surgery. Rectal surgery. Hell, basically anything which involves either heavy machinery or sharp knives near body parts.
But in an artistic light, precision seems to have such negative connotations. It makes things sound horribly pre-judged and forced. Here, The Raveonettes make it work. There becomes something very appealing about the crystal clear way that the band seem to know exactly what they want to achieve with this album.
Namely, to check off a precise list of influences and pay homage to a precise list of sounds… Hmmm. This is making it sound bad. Which it isn’t. It turns out to be much more than just the sum of its influences. It’s evocative when it could just be shamelessly retro.
It’s also full of fine songs. The miraculous feather-light melodies of Last Dance bring to mind Leader Of The Pack, had ‘He’ not been from the wrong side of town with an enormous chopper, but had instead been a Velvet Underground obsessive with a half-mile wide nihilistic streak. And Suicide performs the staggering trick of sounding both incredibly empowering and disarmingly fatalistic at the same time. Like a self-help book written by Samuel Beckett. Waiting For Godot… To Change Your Life In Three Easy Steps!
But the single best thing about In And Out Of Control is the sheer insouciance displayed throughout the (brief) running time. It’s the kind of insouciance you normally see displayed by a small child in football boots standing next to a greenhouse which has unexpectedly gained both additional sporting equipment and additional ventilation.
For whatever reason, you get caught up in their indifference. You get the distinct impression that The Raveonettes care very deeply about their aloofness. Which is kind of cool. Or not. You know. Whatever.