The Raveonettes – In and Out of Control

The_Raveonettes_In_and_Out_of_Control_ViceRating: ★★★★☆

Listening to the history of The Raveonettes, I can easily see why I have remained indifferent with their career, that is up until this point in time.  They’re a band that seems to revel in their discoveries of various genres, perhaps so much so that one cannot listen to their albums without feeling nostalgic for the traditional influences.  In the past, they’ve come across as a band of mere mimicry, bordering on unoriginality and banality.  That all changed when I popped on In and Out of Control.

Once “Bang” hits your ears, it’s clear that the band brought something else to the table this time around.  Bouncing rhythms run throughout the song, and the sunshine of California seem to reverberate from the vocals.  It’s clearly a fun song; a tune to let your hair down.

So, instead of treading the same ground, they go off into a more fuzzy pop gem with “Gone Forever.”  It clearly sounds like a Pains of Being Pure at Heart song, minus the echo and atmospherics.  Okay, so maybe the echo is there in the vocals, but they are so distinguishable, you can easily attach yourself to the content, should you choose to do so. And such a sweet chorus.  They stay in the same spectrum with “Last Dance,” which is possibly one of the catchiest songs you’ll hear this year.  It won’t blow you away, but you won’t mind listening to it time and time again, garnering a number worthy of year end lists.

For once, the fact that the group doesn’t seem to stay in one place actually works.  It doesn’t veer off too far from where they began, which allows you to see the lines drawn in the songwriting that connect the album together as a whole.  But, the differentiation is wholly refreshing from The Raveonettes. Even the quick “I Buried You Today” is just another mark of a band that clearly is willing to define this record on their terms.

Out of nowhere, this band seems to have escaped the monotony of their past.  At times, what they seem to do here is quite invigorating, as the band finally has the courage to step beyond the shadows of their influences.  This is new ground for them, and it makes for a remarkable listen.  All the songs have a bounce, yet they all seem stylistically different; the fact that the band isn’t trapped for once seems to have freed them to progress in a direction I never expected.  It’s hard with this approach to expect the Joan Jett chorus on “Breaking Into Cars,” just know you’ll love it.

So you can’t be sure where the material from In and Out of Control came from, but one thing can be assured for all listeners.  You’ll find this as a record which allows you to sink into, if the mood so allows, and not get bogged down by nostalgic dreams of the golden days of music…though those influences are still walking around in the background. Now’s the time ladies and gentleman to get on board with The Raveonettes.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/The-Raveonettes-Last-Dance.mp3]

Download: The Raveonettes – Last Dance [MP3]

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