The Raveonettes - Pe'ahi - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

The Raveonettes - Pe'ahi

by Kevin Orton Rating:7 Release Date:2014-07-21

The Raveonettes have always been a consistently infectious confection. Savvy, sophisticated stylists playing ode as much as poking fun. Only they would cut a melodic, Abba-esque tune and call it 'Suicide'. Pe’ai finds them running their fingers through the waters of shoegaze, lounge, 50s, 60s, and 80s pop. 

True to its name, Pe'ahi washes over you like a big, opiate wave. This is a very reverb-drenched album. 'Endless Sleeper' greets with just the right hint of menace and drive. Throughout, singer Sharin Foo beckons and coos like a distant echo of Lorelei lost in the eye of some dream, flirting dangerously with nightmare.

'Sisters' touches on all the genres mentioned above. 'Killer in the Streets' and 'Wake Up' are pleasant enough, but 'Z-Boys' takes what could be a great song and drowns it in over-indulgent, atmospheric noodling. The jauntier 'Hell Below' breaks the spell and displays what The Raveonettes do best: beautiful melodies saying terrible things.

'The Rains of May' channels Lee Hazelwood and Nancy Sinatra in a welcome way. For me, the highlight of the album is 'Kill!', bringing on the psychosexual Freudian noir with a vengence. Sentiments like, “One night I saw my dad fuck a red-haired whore/ I never ever thought I would” send a chill. The descent into Industrial fury and white noise here is reminiscent of Bowie’s Outside.

'When Night is Done' perversely touches on 50s teen pop balladry, bringing a very Twin Peaks/ Julie Cruise vibe to proceedings. The haunting yet sneering 'Summer Ends' feels like a dark slice of Big Star filtered though some latterday Jesus & Mary Chain. “Summer Ends and we are falling apart”, but this album never does. 

It may not be a mindblowing, groundbreaking classic but Pe'ahi is a solid effort from a band which has always had its own distinct voice, despite their ecclecticism. Far from a let-down.

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