At the time The Raveonettes burst onto the scene you never could have guessed they’d make it this far and stay interesting – more than that, continue to improve, diversify and continually reshape and redefine their sound. Blame the marketing people for seeking to add them to a list of mostly-gone-now (ugh) garage-rock/retro-rock-duos. This two-piece has become a whole lot more than just that.
Pe’ahi is the band’s seventh album - it’s now a pretty great catalogue to look back through and this one picks up on the ideas from 2012’s Observator (I loved that record) and adds another layer here, well it’s always about a layer (or two) of fuzz. But this time around we have simple, sweet pop songs – love songs, the sorts of songs The Cardigans might once have been proud to make and just a hint of that Jesus and Mary Chain-like treatment, that post-Spector sound they’ve honed and made their own.
The colours are growing too – new sounds on this record, new instruments, a huge range of sonic ideas now – but still it’s kept concise. These are sharp songs, they’re over in just a couple of minutes (or three – max) but they linger, you go back to them, they stay with you in some sense.
Maybe this is a tad too pop for some of the fans who want scrunched up guitars and the punk-ish drive of a backbeat, but I don’t know – as a whole new set of ideas, yet another fresh start, I reckon Pe’ahi is pretty amazing.
I’m most impressed because I derided this band a couple of albums in, was sure they wouldn’t last or doing anything lasting. They just keep proving me wrong. And I like that.