Sexy Surf Rock

Opening with the rather insipid 'The Heavens', this isn't a good start, but the second track, 'Seductress of Burns' proves to be something of a stunner. The emphatic pop drum machine beat carries this cute, but offbeat lullaby along as the vocals mimic angelic chimes and keyboards play sugary arpeggios. Yes, it's certainly the only bedtime duet to have the ironically harsh lyrics, "caught in the dynamo of your sexual intentions", but this is what The Raveonettes do; they take any theme at all and turn it in to glittery candy rock with 'success' written all the way through it.

First single 'Love In A Trashcan' is a very sixties swing-a-long with shimmying guitar solos that could have been born years earlier. 'Sleepwalking' is the big seller from which the title 'Pretty In Black' is drawn, it's full of tense guitar solos that set the air alight and deep, predatory vocals; don't be fooled by the airy introduction, this is one big brute of a brooding tune. 'Twilight' also storms along with a speedy synth beat and melodic keyboards dancing behind Sune Rose Wagner's airy sneer.

In 'My Boyfriend's Back' Sharin Foo takes control of a girly-pop cover of The Angels chirpy hit. The vocals are so sweet that emo kids everywhere will be wretching, but it still fits in with this sleek record. 'Here Comes Mary' is full of surfadelic harmonies that simple exude summer sunshine, before a slightly more tense and atmospheric coda that reminds us that there's always something in their superb artistry that stops The Raveonettes from decaying into complete sickly sweet overdose.

'Somewhere In Texas' jangles along with menacing undertones like a swaggering cowboy, exuding a more consistently dark vibe than most of the other tunes; this is where I prefer The Raveonettes, they may still be firmly in 50's US of A but there's something more sincere and beefy about it. 'You Say You Lie' continues in this bolder vein with heavy guitar chords and vocal harmonies that really make the best of the fact that both founder members of the band are competent singers with distinctive voices. More vocal variety is added on 'Ode To L.A' with Ronnie Spector joining the breezy Raveonette wagon.

The Raveonettes have produced an album where looking back seems to be the new... well, black. 'Pretty in Black' is cute and colourful on the outside, but deliciously dark and rewarding within, just like all your other favourite summer treats; go on, indulge yourself!