November 13, 2008


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Women, Women
Jagjaguwar Records, Oct. 7
Attention-deficit-disorderly buffet of Raveonettes, noise and look-ma-I’m-doing-something-complicated. Given that an overdriven, blown-engine Everly Brothers/Monkees sound paints the things here that could be considered, you know, songs, this is probably something that pretty-much-one-man-band Chad Van Gaalen intended as a sacrificial offering to Raveonettes, and for that alone it’s worth something. But again, there’s a lot of funny white noise inserted to kick average listeners to the curb and rope in jaded reviewers and onion-breathed indie geeks who don’t like normal things, and for that it’s worth another something.

But all is not what it seems, it seems; opening song “Cameras” is first a jigger of ’50s-revisited pop that lives for only a few bars before segueing into “Lawncare,” a faux-hard industrial/shoegaze thing combining My Bloody Valentine and Big Black (act intrigued for a second, please; it’s actually an interesting idea). And then a bunch of noise, ghetto-blaster vs feedback-style, then gentle but clattery ambience (“Woodbine”) and then paleo-Kinks from the “Tired of Waiting For You” era. All this spells indie-critic’s-darling, to be sure, but trust me when I say that that isn’t always a horrible thing. OK, 99 percent of the time, yes, but at a minimum, fans who can’t wait for the next Raveonettes record will assuredly get something out of this. A- — EWS