Thursday, March 27, 2008

Washing Away the Drone at the Bowery

Just got in from seeing The Raveonettes at Bowery Ballroom. For a show that I had thought about skipping -- as recently as today -- it was surprisingly enjoyable. Even after I decided to go, I'd expected to leave well before the encore. Figured I'd just stay long enough to add them to my "seen live" list. But they were so good that I stayed for the whole thing.

So why the hesitation? I committed to the show after seeing the video for "Dead Sound" but before their new album Lust Lust Lust came out.

It's not that Lust Lust Lust turned out to be a disappointing album. Well, actually ... it is. Quite difficult to listen to. Not because it's bad, but because there's little variation from track to track. The uninitiated would likely complain that all the songs sound the same, and they'd have a point. At times, it can seem as if The Raveonettes simply play different arrangements of the same song.

But that's not altogether a bad thing, because they definitely have a unique sound. Sort of like 60's surfer rock tossed into a heavy spin cycle of reverb and distortion followed by a slow tumble in psychedelia. But that same sound over and over again, especially when supported by metronomic rhythms, has a tendency to drone. As a live act, though, that sound washes over you and puts you in a forgiving mood. They may actually sound better on stage than in the studio.