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Chain Gang of Love

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Album Review

The Raveonettes barely gave listeners a glimpse of their cinematic brilliance with their Whip It On EP. One listen to their first studio full-length, The Chain Gang of Love, and you'll know it immediately. The crash and charm of this 13-song set exceeds any kind of glorious expectations laid out at the beginning, and the Raveonettes probably want it that way. Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo go for a much bigger sound this time around. The Chain Gang of Love is far more glossy and layered in melodies compared to Whip It On's gray-colored coolness. Having legendary producer Richard Gottehrer (Blondie, Marshall Crenshaw, the Go-Go's) at the helm doesn't hurt either, for he captures the Raveonettes' true pop essence with style. Forget those rules of keeping it to three chords recorded in B-flat minor. The Raveonettes indulge themselves in the finer elements of mid-'80s post-punk/noise pop (think Jesus & Mary Chain) and combine it with sheer pop melodies of the '50 and '60s for a sexy rock & roll picture show. From the fantastic pop jaunt of "The Great Love Sound" to the pulsating rockabilly blend of "Let's Rave On" and "Heartbreak Stroll," The Chain Gang of Love finds the Danish duo embracing influences of the past, but the Raveonettes tweak things ever so slightly to make them their own. The Chain Gang of Love isn't suffocated in garage rock fashion alone, either. Foo and Wagner's low vocals may hint at such a display, but overall their smooth pop presentation won't be pigeonholed. The Raveonettes, more or less, honor great pop moments of yesteryear, in hopes of positioning themselves and the rock scene in general for something grand later on. [A Japanese version added a bonus track.]

Biography

Formed: 1998 in Copenhagen, Denmark

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Combining the noisy swells of the Jesus and Mary Chain with melodic elements of '50s rock & roll, the Raveonettes formed in Copenhagen during 2001. Guitarist Sune Rose Wagner had tried assembling a band for several years, traveling between New York City, Las Vegas, Hollywood, and an island outside of Seattle in his search for like-minded musicians. A longtime fan of Bob Dylan, he also prized the songwriting of Buddy Holly, the harmonies of the Everly Brothers, and the guitar work of Mark Knopfler,...
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Chain Gang of Love, The Raveonettes
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