The Raveonettes–deadpan guitar nerd Sune Rose Wagner and his dreamy harmony accomplice Sharin Foo–enjoy a couple of crucial advantages over fellow Jesus & Mary Chain aficionados Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. First, they’re not called Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Second, they don’t sulk behind their borrowed scrim of feedback, at least not anymore–the Copenhagen duo apparently worked both gloom and posturing out of their system on last year’s stiff Whip It On. Their new release, Chain Gang of Love (Columbia), is sillier and, not coincidentally, sexier, channeling the itchy libidos of Buddy Holly and Ronnie Spector into a timely reminder that you don’t have to be a fuckup to exude erotic mystery. Live they augment their electronic rhythms with a bald dude who hits many drums very hard and a second guitarist who thickens the spray of overdriven slo-mo surfabilly–all the better to sculpt shadowy nooks for exploratory nookie within their all-enveloping cavern of reverb. The maxed-out grandeur of “That Great Love Sound” makes the plainspoken “So I walk right up to you / And you walk all over me / And I ask you what you want / And you tell me what you need” seem wildly dirty-cute and fraught with promise. Like the New York Dolls and Ramones before them, the Jesus & Mary Chain barbed their love of rockin’ oldies with cool guitar noise so no one could call ’em corny. But for the Raveonettes, those defense mechanisms and the “Chapel of Love” hand claps on “Noisy Summer” and the insistent “Waiting for the Man” stomp throughout the record all come from an equally remote past, and every bit of it turns them on something crazy. They’re Danish, all right–flaky on the outside, cheesy on the inside–and when they dub themselves “delinquents in love” or sing “Let’s go out and meet some strangers” they capture a wide-eyed, heavy-breathing anticipation few rockers right now are even willing to acknowledge. Saturday, September 20, 9 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark; 773-549-0203.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Marcelo Krascilcic.