Listen, ‘lust’, love: Danes rave on to perfection

Joe Shearer

Joe Shearer | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: Ron Soltys

Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll: It’s simple enough to find. Any halfwit with a guitar can crack the formula. The Raveonettes take it to a whole other level we’re not used to hearing in modern rock.

These days at best, we’re treated to great songs, not great albums. It’s something our fast-paced lives demand. Even the Danish duo’s last release, Pretty in Black, contains great music while lacking consistency. But not Lust Lust Lust. On an album damn near perfect, Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo walk the fine line of obscurity and masterpiece. Imagine surf rock, ’50s rock, ’60s girl groups, punk and electronic all thrown in a blender — except the blender doesn’t shut off.

What you’d have is a track like “Aly, Walk With Me,” employing programmed beats and lonely, hypnotic guitars before exploding into a whirlwind frenzy of guitar noise, fuzz and feedback. If you’re looking for the “Love in a Trashcan” brand of the Raveonettes, Lust has nothing to do with it.

In fact, the only song almost free of distortion is the tearjerker “With My Eyes Closed.” This and the other three closing songs (not including the two bonus tracks) make for a very moving end and ejection from an experience feeling very focused and complete.

The whole thing is quite cinematic. It begins dark and mysterious with “Lust” and “Hallucinations,” a song taking its time to excite, build and climax.

Next, comes the more upbeat portion of the disc with “Dead Sound,” “Black Satin” and “Blush.” “You Want the Candy” is every bit as infectious as the Strangeloves’ classic “I Want Candy,” except it’s louder, and candy, it refers to something else.

“Blitzed” is where you begin to feel the heartache, the wandering surf guitar solos leading into the final act.

You may not be used to the screeching, country rockabilly of “Sad Transmission” or the reflective, warm-fuzz-filled dream “The Beat Dies,” but you’ll immediately recognize the emotion and feelings attached. The line, “The first love you can’t escape / The second love feels like rape,” may catch the listener off guard, but it’s something everyone can relate to when trying to move on from someone.

Wagner wrote numerous “albums” before he finally settled on this track list, and while every song is significant, one beauty you won’t find anywhere else is “Expelled From Love.” Lacking any beat, the guitars and singers slowly drag you through a song so devastating, you can almost feel your heart being ripped out of your chest.

That’s what distinguishes the meaningfulness of Lust from the band’s earlier work. It plays like a relationship starting hot and heavy, hence the title. But it’s more than that. There’s the excitement, the confusion, the discontent and finally, the heartbreak.

So just remember, while lust may draw you in, it’s the love that will keep you coming back again and again.

Contact all reporter Joe Shearer at [email protected].