Not that The Raveonettes are bad. The group’s last album, Pretty in Black, was a wonderfully macabre take on ’50s surf rock. But on Lust Lust Lust, the duo of Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo has reverted to a more JAMC-based sound with diminished results. Less catchy, enveloping or even attention-grabbing than Pretty in Black, Lust Lust Lust craps out halfway through its murky 47 minutes of disinterested dissonance.
The record isn’t completely devoid of entertainment or originality, though. Album opener “Aly, Walk With Me” has a fuzzed out cool that swaggers like whoa. It’s nearly five minutes long, but never feels like it. The rolling drum beat and reverb-laden guitar make the tune a propulsive one. The group’s distorted pop also shines on cuts like “Hallucinations” and “Dead Sound.” Avid fans who already purchased an import of the disc might want to hit up the U.S. version, as it boasts two bonus tracks— “My Heartbeat’s Dying,” which is only OK, and “Honey, I Never Had You,” which has a start-stop earnestness never fully realized on the album’s core.
Most of Lust Lust Lust’s guitars are shrouded in reverb, making the hi-fi recording clarity sound like lo-fi noise. Where bands like JAMC, Sonic Youth or My Bloody Valentine could bend guitar noise into music, The Raveonettes cannot. Often, the dissonance covers up empty arrangements and lackluster lyrics. The group isn’t doing anything interesting here, and therefore isn’t doing anything memorable either. A good deal of Lust Lust Lust is an uncompelling blur.
Even blatant attempts at singles, like the overly precocious “You Want the Candy,” lack character. Still, though, compared to The Jesus and Mary Chain’s own third disc, the massively disappointing rock retread Automatic, one could say The Raveonettes have gotten more out of the classic JAMC sound than its own creators.