Quick Review (LP): Raven in the Grave by The Raveonettes

The Raveonettes
Raven in the Grave
Vice; 2011

My Rating: B (64/100)

Best Tracks: "Recharge & Revolt", "War In Heaven", "Ignite"

Goth and the 50’s teen heartbreak pop find each other.

NOTES

  • It all sounds like a big, long teenage death song, sort of like that cover Pearl Jam did a few years back.
  • Very reminiscent of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, but I like this group’s vocals better.
  • "Recharge & Revolt" is a really cool tune.
  • "War In Heaven" is deliciously dark. It would have been at home on any album released by The Cure up to Disintegration.
  • Also, I am reminded of I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness, especially on gothier tracks like "War In Heaven."
  • "Ignite" features some really appealing guitar work, but then there are those damn whispery vocals again. Why?
  • Love the aesthetic of this group, but the songs don’t quite make it over the top.
  • Also, I really dig the concept, but I’d like to have seen the group take it further.
  • I think Pitchfork gets this one right. There are things to like about this record, but the joy-o-meter registers a bit low. I wonder if these two are a little too obsessed with being fashionable?

ATTRIBUTES
Cohesion (4/5)
Concept (4.5/5)
Consequence (3.5/5)
Consistency (4/5)
Songs (4/5)

Quick Review (LP): Belong by The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Belong
Slumberland; 2011

My Rating: B (70/100)

Best Tracks: "Belong", "Heaven’s Gonna Happen Now", "Anne with an E", "Strange"

Classic indie rock, a bit overcooked.

NOTES

  • I like the chunkiness of their sound. Sort of reminds me of The Inbreds.
  • Very John Hughes-ish. Is Breakfast Club Indie its own genre of music yet?
  • A very throwback sound – shades of late 80’s alt rock a la Pixies and The Cure.
  • Arrrrggghhh!!! The vocals!!! Why can’t dream-pop bands get brassy singers these days?
  • "The Body" reminds me of Afghan Whigs – the singer is channelling Greg Dulli there.
  • The songs are good, but none of them really GRAB me the way I would hope. Needs GREAT songs.
  • It all starts to blend together after a while.
  • The vocals leave a little something to be desired. This dude sounds like the guy from Def Leppard whispering. It is perhaps the lingering negative influence of otherwise great acts like My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus and Mary Chain.
  • Pitchfork is much nicer to it than I am. I think the band needs to lay off of the sweet sound so much, and try something with a little more cockiness, a little more swagger. I was hopeful that "Strange", with its driving opening rhythm, was going to launch into something like "Gouge Away", but it was really the same old thing. I hope Kip Berman can find his inner Black Francis next time around.

ATTRIBUTES
Cohesion (5/5)
Consistency (4/5)
Consequence (4/5)
Concept (4.5/5)
Songs (4/5)