Lust, Lust, Lust came out in the U.K. in November, and while discrepancies in release dates aren’t uncommon, there’s something symbolic about reviewing this album long after much of the world has already heard it, and from such geographical distance. The Raveonettes—the Danish duo of Sharin Foo and Sune Rose Wagner—often sound as though they’re singing from very far away, their fuzzy electric guitars and white-noise squalls trying to musically bridge a distance. It’s like having sex in lieu of communicating. Maybe this is the real FutureSex/LoveSounds: the music of robots making love.
As the title suggests, this isn’t an album about love, 2003’s hit “That Great Love Sound” off The Chain Gang of Love now giving way to songs called “Expelled From Love” and “My Heartbeat’s Dying.” While their earlier music conveyed something beautiful, this one reaches for the audience with greedy fingers, like too much is never enough. Too much sex, too much noise, too much hunger pulsating at the edges of every sneer: It’s thematically kin to the White Stripes’ “Take, Take, Take.”
Album opener “Aly, Walk With Me” is a hallucinated and sweaty summer anthem; on Lust‘s title track, the Raveonettes recount their “sins not quite seven” and bemoan that “lust holds my hand.” The tone on “Expelled From Love” is the loneliest sound in the world: Two voices being pounded into submission by a syncopated drone, an industrial miasma that could soundtrack a Fritz Lang flick. The Jesus and Mary Chain comparisons are still apt, though they’re creeping out from under the shadow of “Happy When It Rains” and heading toward something far scarier, as traces of Throbbing Gristle seem ready to disrupt their noise-pop vigil at any moment. Sometimes it seems that the only thing keeping the Raveonettes bound together are their sharp aesthetics (they’re still great dressers): It lets them toss off perfect pop songs like “You Want the Candy” amid an album about lusting for the out-of-reach. Which is to say, three years after rhapsodizing “Love in a Trash Can,” Foo and Wagner are still some classy dumpster sluts.