Today’s music-industry is a freaking cage-fight. The only rule is that it’s got to be brutal. One can only guess the amount of experiences THE RAVEONETTES have made with it in nearly 15 years of existence. At least enough to release their most recent record Pe’ahi under a secret agenda – or at least one that’s avoiding anything of the usual procedure; no further press information, just some mysterious announcements: ‘Something quite amazing is brewing on the horizon and you wanna be there when it hits!!’. Well, it did hit. Go home, KANYE and BEYONCÉ! THE RAVEONETTES did it as well and they did it not for the buzz but for their fans only. A week ahead of this week’s release, Sisters teased the fuzz-pop duo’s seventh longplayer – a song as crushing as a a first love; full of euphoria, despair, pain and, well, noise. THE RAVEONETTES rarely have been better than that and now, Pe’ahi is ready to continue what Sisters began: to become the disturbing hit-record of this summer.
THE BEACH BOYS meet A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS: that is what THE RAVEONETTES are about. To find the sweetness within heavy distortion and endless racks of effect-pedals. Just like the infamous razorblades hidden in apples on halloween their sound became so distinct over the years that their name is now highly connected to it. But lately, even THE RAVEONETTES went through a phase of redefining themselves. 2012’s Observator collected highly melancholic reflections about living and destroying yourself in New York, the place where THE RAVEONETTES‘s songwriter Sune Rose Wagner lived at that time. Drugs, excession and depression have always been a crucial part of their work yet they suddenly dominated lust and love, which have been their other great themes. With Pe’ahi they now seem to be willing to get back on their feet, embracing beautiful people and crushing the skulls of those who abuse their love.
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So what have we got here? There’s the killer song Sisters with harps and walls and boy/girl-harmonies, there’s Z-Boys with its sudden break, there’s the no-wave/glockenspiel beauty of When Night Is Almost Done – THE RAVEONETTES deliver something quite special and very profound with Pe’ahi. As they dismissed all filling material, you could pick any of the ten songs and get happy with it. And yes, this record is a delightful one, although there’s love dying, tears rolling and all that. Despite it, the songs keeps up their surfer spirit (Pe’ahi is a famous spot for surfers in Hawaii), challenging wave after wave of excitement and breakdown.
There might be some examples of those little marketing-gags like not announcing and promoting a record already but what comes out of it is at times less convincing then the whole story behind it. THE RAVEONETTES took another road: they recorded some of their best songs in years if not ever and present them to their fans immediately. And as long as the songs are this good, skipping the media is totally okay with us. As a result, Pe’ahi is both: a substantial statement and a beautiful record.
Their seventh longplayer Pe’ahi might come as a surprise but it’s surely one of THE RAVEONETTES‘ strongest efforts.
NBHAP Rating: 4,5/5