I've got a couple of new things up today at Blurt. First the full write-up on the Raveonettes show (I wrote about this earlier here, but only in the briefest, most sketchy, bloggy way...I hope this is better.)
A lot has happened since the last time I saw the Raveonettes on a minor stop in their Chain Gang of Love tour sometime back in the mid-00s. Their splice of girl group melody and rackety, effect-driven guitar sounded new then, or at least relatively unusual. It was still half a decade before Vivian Girls, Pains of Being Pure at Heart and their many followers would colonize this blend of haze and sweetness. Rock was back, at least temporarily, and there was plenty of room for a gorgeous blonde bass player, a floorboard's worth of guitar pedals and a sound that linked the Ronettes to the Ventures to the Jesus & Mary Chain.
As it turns out, there's still some room for Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo, whose live act has gotten sharper even as their recorded output has grown more diffuse and atmospheric. For this tour, they've got a slate of spooky tunes - they play the bulk of new Raven from the Grave tonight - as well as a beefed up line-up. In addition to the band's two main members, there are two other guys in tow. For much of the night, they play short-handed drum sets - just a snare, floor tom, crash cymbal and tambourine - in perfect synchronization, pounding out primitive, booming beats that give even the Raveonette's airiest new songs a rush of adrenaline. The set is heavy on new material, but also includes selections from Whip It On, Chain Gang of Love, Lust Lust Lust, and In and Out of Control, plus at least one cover.
Also, my review of the Globes' Future Self goes live today. The Globes are a fairly new phenomenon from the Northwest whose best songs balance the symmetries of good Brit Pop with the unexpected turns and eerie atmospheres of Radiohead...anyway, they've got two EPs plus this debut on Barsuk to their name as yet, but I'm guessing we'll hear more about them presently.
I said: The Globes transform complexity into something accessible on this impressive debut. Here intricate rhythms jitter under chilled otherworldly vocals, translucent guitar textures blossom unexpectedly into off-kilter flourishes of proggy dexterity. Melodic pop lines may shoulder softly into view, but only to be shredded into prismatic, asymmetrical bits. If the best comparison is Radiohead that is partly because both bands are so unpredictable, so ready to fracture time signatures and break chord structures, so that the line you hear is subtly, intriguingly different from what you expect to hear.