Lets make this very clear, The Raveonettes are one of the best bands around who don't get remotely enough love. In the past week, this reviewer watched a one-album charlatan act play a set in a 2,000 plus venue capacity and here are The Raveonettes, three albums and a mini-LP down the line, playing in King Tuts for the fourth time. King Tuts is a fantastic venue and it regularly tops peoples best venues lists for a very good reason but bands need to progress beyond playing this level of venue and The Raveonettes appear to be staying where they are, no matter how much more they actually deserve.
With their new album 'Lust Lust Lust' in tow, the two new songs may have caught some of the crowd on the hop but theres certainly been no great deviation in sound from the band. The Ravs mine a classic pop feel, borrowing from the 50s and 60s melodic pop bands and blending it with the car-crash feel of the Mary Chain or the Velvets and it's a mix that works well, sonically and aesthetically. They shake, they shimmy, they steal from every great era and blend it into their own style, the question remains why they aren't more popular?
Its not as if this band isn't marketable, they've more choruses than the top 40 could handle and there is a sadistic streak running through their lyrics to turn on any cynical minded fan. When 'That Great Love Sound' revs into gear, the crowd find their voices and the band appear to relax into the rest of the set, dropping plenty of new material in with the old favourites. The new songs appear to be slightly slower than the more familiar songs but what they lack in pace, they make up for in grandeur. Yes, The Raveonettes now pack a bigger sonic punch.
Like all great bands, they have the music sorted but they also add the looks element to the package they bring. Sharin Foo has always held a Nordic cool but with her new hairstyle drawing comparisons with Kate Moss in her recent i-d magazine shoot, the woman is a bona-fide rock chick. With a drummer carrying a cheekbone structure similar to Natalia Imbruglia and Sune Rose Wagner, with his eyeliner and sneer, remaining the teenage delinquent that girls swoon over, theres no fathomable reason why the band aren't featured in magazines more often.
Looks are one thing but to get back to the music, the live show proves they still have what it takes. The sound may be augmented by loops and samples but the vocals are where this band truly shines, touching the hem of 60's legends with upbeat delivieries and snappy harmonising. Covering 'French Disco' by Stereloab may have been an unexpected treat but really old favourites like 'Attack Of The Ghost Riders' still have the snap, crackle and pop that first brought the act to prominence. Some of the newer songs may have a maturity to them but the old fuzz and snarl still pervades and with 'Aly, Walk With Me', the new albums opening track, they have a new menacing favourite, with a guitar line that sublime barely does justice to.
Any casual observer may have heard the band on the Dobbies Gardening Centre advert on television, with the band again aping the Phil Spector feel to create a modern Christmas classic. Thankfully the band never played this as its still far too early for the Christmas vibe but there is a need for The Raveonettes to be heard by more people and if adverts are the way to go, then so be it. If they ever release a best of collection, it has the potential to blow you away but for now, just get along to their gigs and get them playing in bigger venues.